CAIRO - A new report has acknowledged that Australian Muslims are being discriminated against in workplace, the findings that added to the disappointment of the sizable minority.
"Muslim men have expressed concern that the negative portrayal of Muslims in the media may have a detrimental effect on the self-esteem of Muslim youth and also result in children being bullied at school," said the Newcastle University report, cited by TheHerald Sun on Tuesday, November 13.Using Census data, the report, led by Prof Terry Lovat, found that the jobless rate among Muslim men was more than double the national average.
Only 57 percent of Muslim males aged 15 and older had jobs compared with 68 percent of all working-age men, the report said.
It also revealed that Muslims were the most discriminated against religious minority in Australia with 13.4 percent unemployed compared to 9.6 percent of Buddhists.
The discrimination of Muslims also tripled that of Lutherans, 4 percent, Baptists 4.8 percent, and Orthodox 4.9 percent.
Suburbs with high Muslim concentrations such as Broadmeadows and Dallas had jobless rates of more than 15 percent in 2006, said the report.
"In total, 58 percent of Muslims earned less than $400 per week compared to 41 percent of the Australian population.
The report said that Muslims faced workplace barriers including poor English proficiency, difficulty having overseas qualifications recognized and cultural and religious issues.
Yet, the biggest obstacle facing Muslims was being viewed "others" by employers, reflected in rising discrimination in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States and the 2002 Bali bombings.
The report findings disappointed Australian Muslims who feel discriminated against in their own country.
"There is a lot of discrimination against Muslims, and not just in employment, social researcher and Islamic Council of Victoria executive member Mohamad Tabbaa told The Herald Sun.
Tabbaa said some discrimination was subtle, such as employers being hesitant to hire hijab-wearing Muslim women because they feared losing customers.
He said terrorist attacks, though widely opposed by the majority of Muslims in Australia and worldwide, helped increase the anti-Muslim discrimination.
"Since the terrorist attacks Islamophobia is on the rise in Western countries, including Australia," he said.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity.
Facing blatant discrimination in work fields, many Australian Muslims have Christianized their names to increase their chances of employment.Similar reports of anti-Muslim job bias were reported in Germany, France and even the United States.