High Muslim unemployment ‘is not due to cultural and religious practices’ | Islamophobia

According to a study, the poor performance of Muslims in the British labor market cannot be explained by socio-cultural attitudes, such as commitment to traditionalism.

The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, confirmed the existence of a ‘Muslim penalty’ in the labor market, but dismissed previous suggestions that it was due to practices cultural and religious.

Muslim men and Muslim women were found to have a significantly higher probability of unemployment than their respective white British Christian counterparts after adjustments for factors such as age, location, education and fact whether or not they have children. The author then adjusted for factors such as religiosity, gender attitudes, and civic participation, but found that they had only a minor effect on ‘Muslim grief’.

Samir Sweida-Metwally, PhD researcher at the University of Bristol, who conducted the research, supported by the Council for Economic and Social Research, said: ‘The findings offer evidence against the view that Muslims’ poor performance in employment in Britain are due to their so-called ‘socio-cultural’. attitude’.

“By challenging this narrative, which problematizes Muslims and their faith, the study supports overwhelming evidence from field experiences that show that anti-Muslim discrimination against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslims is a significant barrier to their access to work.

Her article uses 10 years of data from the UK Longitudinal Household Study, an annual survey of around 100,000 people in 40,000 households that collects information, mostly through face-to-face interviews about the situation socio-economic people.

Participants were asked questions including the strength of their religious beliefs, whether they are members of social organizations, and whether they agree with statements that “husband should win, wife should stay behind”. home” and “family life suffers if the mother works full time”. -time”. This allowed Sweida-Metwally to determine whether certain attitudes were associated with a higher risk of unemployment.

He concluded: “‘Socio-cultural variables’ such as gender-related attitudes, language proficiency, and the extent of inter- and intra-ethnic social ties are not a compelling source of unexplained ethno-religious differences in participation. labor market and unemployment among Muslim men and women.

Another important finding was that country of origin or ‘perceived Muslimness’ may matter. While white British Muslims did not show a significantly different risk of unemployment and inactivity than white British Christians, Arab men with no religion were among those with the highest probability of unemployment/inactivity. Sweida-Metwally wrote that this “might suggest that perceived Muslimness is more important in predicting religious disadvantage among men than actual attachment to faith”.

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He added: “It means an understanding that Islamophobia is multidimensional and linked to color, religion, culture and country of origin, with any dimension of difference being ‘enough’ for someone inclined to be prejudiced, is essential to any strategy aimed at reducing these inequalities.

The study found that when it came to men, those of black Caribbean descent had the highest risk of unemployment. Among women, Muslims generally had the greatest risk of unemployment, with Pakistani women showing the highest risk of unemployment.

Sweida-Metwally said: “Overall, the evidence indicates support for the thesis that there is both a religious (Muslim) and color (black) penalty at play in the UK labor market. Confirming previous research, religion is a much better predictor of unemployment and inactivity for women, while for men, color and religion matter.

James C. Tibbs