Islamophobia holding back UK Muslims in workplace, study finds

Muslim men and women are being held back in the workplace by widespread Islamophobia, racism and discrimination, according to a study which finds that Muslim adults are far less likely to be in full-time work.

Research for the government’s social mobility watchdog, shared exclusively with the Guardian, found a strong work ethic and high resilience among Muslims that resulted in impressive results in education.

However, that was not translated into the workplace, with only 6% of Muslims breaking through into professional jobs, compared with 10% of the overall population in England and Wales.

The study found 19.8% of Muslims aged 16-to-74 were in full-time employment, compared with 34.9% of the overall population.

The research also found evidence of women being encouraged by their communities to focus on marriage and motherhood rather than gaining employment. Overall, 18% of Muslim women aged 16 to 74 were recorded as “looking after home and family”, compared with 6% of the overall female population. [The Guardian] Read more

Of course British Muslims are being held back. This is an Islamophobic country

The government’s study into the social mobility challenges faced by young British Muslims once again shines a troubling spotlight on how race, class, Islamophobia and patriarchy within Muslim communities – and wider British society – is impacting the life chances and quality of life for a significant section of the British population.

It also further highlights the deepening fractures in our society. It is not inconsequential that the report from the government’s social mobility commission has been published days before the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the subsequent normalisation of anti-Muslim rhetoric in so much of our political, social and media discourse.

It is important for this connection to be made if we want to understand the wider context behind why British Muslims are lagging so behind with social mobility. The impact of 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror” on the lives of young British Muslims cannot be separated from the avalanche of racism and Islamophobia, micro-aggressions and hate crimes many young people face and the impact this is having on all aspects of their lives, from mental and physical wellbeing to career prospects. [Guardian Cif] Read more