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Muslim men 4 times less likely to get hired than Catholics
New research from The Montaigne Institute think tank found that Muslim men are four times less likely to get a job in the European country than Catholics, according to The Local, a French news site. - photo by Herb Scribner
Muslim men in France have a job problem.

New research from The Montaigne Institute think tank found that practicing Muslim men are four times less likely to get a job in the European country than practicing Catholics, according to The Local, a French news site.

Specifically, the study found that practicing Muslim men had a 4.7 percent chance at getting a job interview after an employer saw their resumes, while practicing Catholics had a 17.9 percent chance, The Local reported.

For men and women overall, Catholics were twice as likely to get interviews than Muslims, The Local reported.

To find this, researcher Marie-Anne Valfort sent about 6,200 resumes out to job advertisements between 2013 and 2014, The Local reported. These fake candidates all had the last name Haddad and were Lebanese, according to The Local.

But Valfort changed the applicants first names based on religion Dov and Esther for Jews, Michel and Nathalie for Catholics, and Mohammed and Samira for Muslims, according to The Local.

Valfort said this is only the tip of the iceberg, since the study only focused on the application process and did not include any research on the interview phase, according to The Local.

"It probably underestimates the level of discrimination: All studies show that discrimination is present at each step of recruitment," she told The Local.

This isnt a new finding, either. Research from the University of Bristol in 2013 found that Muslim men in the United Kingdom were 76 percent less likely to get a job than British Christian men, according to The Huffington Post. And Muslim women were 65 percent less likely to be employed than white Christian women, the University of Bristol research found.

In fact, both Muslim men and women were also less likely to obtain a manager position, The Huffington Post reported.

Its a similar story stateside. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that Muslim Americans also face discrimination, where only 2 percent of applications by the Muslim candidate received interview invitations compared to 17 percent for the Christian candidate in conservative states.

Even when Muslim Americans do get jobs, there is widespread discrimination in the workplace, according to a 2010 New York Times report. Muslim workers will often find themselves being called terrorist or Osama, The Times reported. Some employers will also ban head scarfs or prayer breaks for Muslims workers, too, according to The Times.

This happens even today. For example, earlier this year, a Muslim woman won a Supreme Court case after Abercrombie & Fitch refused to hire her for wearing a headscarf.

And Americans are well aware of this issue. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, 45 percent of Americans feel there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims more than any other societal groups, including gays and lesbians, Hispanic Americans, black people and women, Pew reported.

Why is there such discrimination? Dr. Nail Khattab told The Independent its because many employers see Muslims as a threat.

"(Muslims) are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority, Khattab told The Independent. Within this climate, many employers will be discouraged from employing qualified Muslims, especially if there are others from their own groups or others from less threatening groups who can fill these jobs."

This fits with the fact that 42 percent of Americans feel Islamic followers are more likely to encourage violence, according to the Pew Research Center.

To help fight this issue, a new report suggests employers complete a contextual recruitment, where they look less at last names and religious affiliations, and more at life experience and background, The Guardian reported.

The report also suggests that the young British Muslim community push the issue and call for support from Muslim community leaders and the Muslim Council of Britain, The Guardian reported.

That may not be too hard since the British government has previously proposed a system for anonymous job applications which would remove names and schools from resumes, according to The Independent. And though it didnt pan out or garner too much support, current British politicians feel this will help cut down on discrimination.

Still, despite some government support, some employers feel cutting down resume discrimination wouldnt affect interview discrimination, The Independent reported.

Despite these issues, some websites and organizations are working to help Muslims, both in America and around the world, find work.

The American Muslims Job Network frequently posts positions from companies that are Equal Opportunity Employers.

And Muslim Family Services looks to teach Muslim American families lessons about American social issues, economics and politics. The group also assists needy Muslim families in searching for jobs and work opportunities.
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