YOUNG Muslims are being shut out of British society with just one in five adult Muslims in work, a report said yesterday.
The Social Mobility Commission found that only 6 per cent of the Muslim population are in professional jobs.
The report blamed Islamophobia and racism for the failure of British Muslims to progress in the workplace.
Overall, 18.9 per cent of Muslims aged between 16 and 74 are currently in full-time employment, according to the SMC.
That is significantly less than the 34.9 per cent figure for the adult population of the UK overall.
Part of the reason for the low employment rate is that Muslim women are far more likely to be stay-at-home mothers who are not looking for work.
18 per cent of adult Muslim women are recorded as “looking after home and family” – three times as many as in the population as a whole.
Even when Muslims do enter the workforce, they find it harder to rise through the ranks and get well-paid jobs.
Only 6 per cent of Muslims are in managerial or professional jobs, compared to 10 per cent of the British population.
The report claims young people from Islamic backgrounds believe they must work “ten times as hard” to get the same opportunities as other workers.
It said Muslim job-seekers felt they were less likely to get interviewed by employers if they had an “ethnic-sounding” name.
The problems are particularly bad for women, according to the SMC, because they face restrictions both from within their own community and outside.
Women complained they faced discrimination if they wore a hijab at work, making them feel uncomfortable expressing their faith.
They also said that Muslim women are often encouraged by relatives to stay at home and have children rather than going out to work – attitudes which can be reinforced by teachers at Muslim faith schools.
Ex-minister Alan Milburn, chairman of the SMC, said: “The British social mobility promise is that hard work will be rewarded. Unfortunately, for many young Muslims in Britain today this promise is being broken.
“Young Muslims themselves identify cultural barriers in their communities and discrimination in the education system and labour market as some of the principal obstacles that stand in their way.
“Young Muslim women face a specific challenge to maintain their identity while seeking to succeed in modern Britain.” – Times
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