Muslim men in Britain were up to 76 percent less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, male British Christians of the same age and with the same qualifications, The Independent reported, citing a study by researchers Nabil Khattab and Ron Johnston.
Muslim women in the country, on the other hand, were up to 65 percent less likely to be employed than white Christian counterparts, the study found, furthermore.
The researchers relied on data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey (LFS) and concluded that Muslims were the most disadvantaged in terms of employment prospects out of the 14 ethno-religious groups in Britain.
Co-researcher Nabil Khattab, of the Bristol University, said the situation was “likely to stem from placing Muslims collectively at the lowest stratum within the country’s racial, or ethno-cultural system due to growing Islamophobia and hostility against them.
“They are perceived as disloyal and as a threat, rather than just as a disadvantaged minority,” he added.
“Within this climate, many employers (are) 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,” Khattab said.
He pointed out that the “penalties” for being Muslim got worse when applying for better-paid managerial or professional jobs.
According to Khattab, if this situation persists, it would not augur well for the cohesion of Britain’s multi-ethnic and multicultural society.
“The exclusion of well-qualified black and Muslim individuals could undermine their willingness to integrate (with) the wider society,” he noted.
Among men, Indian Muslims were 37 percent less likely to be in work, Pakistani Muslims 59 percent, white Muslims 64 percent and Bangladeshi Muslims 66 percent less likely, the study found.
Among women, on the other hand, Indian Muslims were 55 percent less likely to have a job, white Muslims 43 percent and Bangladeshi Muslims 51 percent less likely.
Of those in work, the researchers found only 23 percent and 27 percent of Bangladeshi Muslims and Pakistani Muslims, respectively, had a salaried job.
White British Jews, with 64 per cent, had the highest rate among those in salaried jobs, followed by Hindu Indians and white Christian Irish, with 53 percent and 51 percent, respectively.
Khattab noted: “The main components of this discrimination are skin colour and culture, or religion. But colour is dynamic, which means white colour can be valued in one case, but devalued when associated with Muslims. Equally, having a dark skin colour — Hindu Indians, for example — is not always associated with any significant penalty.”