Subtle Forms of Discrimination against Muslims

There exist some extremely subtle and almost unrecognizable forms of discrimination in the workplace and in other aspects of life that might not even make sense to a lot of people.

Nonetheless, these discrepancies exist and a number of people, including Muslims, have to face them in their everyday lives.

Pew research about Muslim discrimination

According to Pew Research, Muslim Americans cite the biggest problem they face in the U.S. is a negative view of their culture, along with misconceptions, discrimination, and prejudiced against Islam.

In a country like the United States of America, the total population is made up of immigrants from a number of foreign nations, ranging from developed from English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom to African countries such as Ghana or Ethiopia.

It’s amazing that such a melting pot of cultures can cause such ignorance against one another.

Language discrimination

Everybody has a different accent and different language, whether you are from Alabama, Boston, or grew up in an Islamic family.

This gives rise to linguicism, or bias against people’s accents, vocabulary or diction.

In job interviews, having a foreign accent can convince the potential employers that the applicant might not be an efficient worker, even after being more qualified than a native.

It’s unfortunate that a highly-qualified lpn to bsn nurse could be discriminated against because of an accent.

Having a stutter or a speech disorder can decrease the chances of getting a job, or being able to stay at the job, or securing a promotion or raise. Even with a highly qualified and educated employee, many employees feel like stutterers cannot perform a job well, or handle responsibilities with ease.

Discrimination against women

Discrimination towards women takes various forms in the workplace. Not in all cases is gender discrimination as strong as the female workers being directly denied a promotion or openly being sexually harassed by other.

In some cases, it is as simple as calling female colleagues ‘Hunny’, or ‘Sweetheart’, or making a sexist joke or snide comments about a fellow female colleague.

Pregnant women or new mothers are often thought to be emotional and unable to handle major responsibilities as they are going through mental and hormonal changes. Commenting or complimenting a female colleague on her physical appearance is also a very mild form of discrimination.

In the case of Muslim nurses, physical discrimination can be brought on by the headscarf or hijab.

Small events of subtle racial discrimination are always present in everyday rituals, sometimes unnoticed by all and often involuntary.

Keeping an African-American woman waiting at the departmental store and serving others, serving a Hispanic family late in a restaurant, refusing to rent an apartment to a Asian student – these are all small acts of discrimination that often stay hidden and unnoticed by all.

Physical disabilities

Students with some kind of physical disabilities are sometimes advised to take easier subjects in case they may not be able to handle the pressures of a high demanding subject like physics or medicine.

Though there is nothing wrong with the student mentally or emotionally, only physical disability keeps him from choosing a subject to his liking. Again, a person with minor physical disabilities or illness may be passed over for an important assignment because he or she may not be up for it.

Ethnic and exotic names are sometimes discriminated against in mixed race countries like the United States. Recent studies show that, names like ‘Aisha’, ‘DeShaun’, ‘Lakisha’ and ‘Jamal’ are called in less for job interviews than all-American names like ‘Cody’, ‘Emily’ or ‘Greg’.

To avoid being discriminated against, many Jews in the US have changed their names slightly to sound more American, like changing ‘Stein’ to ‘Stone’.

Many African-American and Hispanic parents are now choosing American-sounding names instead of names that belong to their culture to make sure their children are accepted everywhere.

Subtle discriminations are usually mild and harmless, but it is unfair and wrong nevertheless. People really need to change their perspective about a number of things and people to treat everybody equally.