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U.S. Muslim Discrimination

01/10/2010

The U.S. federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a record 803 claims of discrimination from Muslims in 2009—up 20 percent from 2008 and up 60 percent from 2005.

Although Muslims comprise less than two percent of the U.S. population, one quarter of religious discrimination cases last year were from Muslim Americans.

Following the controversy over building an Islamic learning center near Ground Zero this summer, 2010 may see a yet increased number of Muslim discrimination claims.

2009’s complaints included an Iraqi hotel worker being called a “camel jockey,” a clothing store refusing to hire a young woman wearing a head scarf, and a meatpacking company whose workers apparently cursed Somali immigrants and interrupted prayer breaks.

What has caused such an apparent increase in discrimination against Muslims in the work place? Will these publicized reports affect extremist narratives that the United States and West is in a conflict against Islam? Could these reports help terrorist recruiters?