Muslims and those perceived to be Muslims face discrimination

No one should ever have to feel the horrible sting of discrimination. Unfortunately, in a country that upholds equal rights for everyone, many still suffer from prejudice and racism.

Today, statistics show that the rate of discrimination against Muslims and people perceived to be Muslims is higher than it was immediately following the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.

From September 2011 to March 2012, there were 7,019 charges of discrimination against Muslims reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is a striking difference from the 2,734 charges reported prior to September 11, 2001.

Facing discrimination

Those facing new levels of discrimination in the workplace and beyond include Muslims and those that are believed to be Muslim. This may include Sikhs, Arabs and South Asians. Many of these people face false stereotypes about their religions and morals.

Muslims may face racial slurs when just going about with their daily life. They may be unfairly stereotyped as anti-American, even when they have grown up in the United States or even served the country in war. There has also been an increase in bullying of Muslim children in schools.

Additionally, Muslims often face resistance from communities when attempting to open a mosque for worship. In one such case in 2009, the Islamic Center of South Beach, was denied permission to renovate its aging property in Lomita, CA. This resistance can be due to stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam, and can be very damaging to Muslims in a community.

Workplace discrimination

Statistics in 2011 revealed that there had been a 150% increase in discrimination against Muslims in the workplace. This discrimination often had to do with a person's religious clothing or schedule due to worship times.

Some employers unlawfully segregate Muslim workers wearing religious articles such as headscarves and turbans from public view. Disney, for example, has a controversial dress-code policy which required employee Imane Boudlal to remove her hijab if she wished to interact with customers.

Absence from co-workers can lead these Muslim workers to miss out on opportunities to network and improve their status at work. It is also demoralizing and painful treatment to endure.

Fighting discrimination

It is not right for you to be discriminated against anywhere. When discrimination happens in the workplace, it can strongly affect your income and your career path. But you can seek legal help.

If you have been unlawfully discriminated against when applying for a job or in your current or former workplace, an attorney can help fight for your rights. No one deserves to be treated like a second-class citizen.