How To Respond To Anti-Muslim Discrimination

Anti-Muslim discrimination is unfortunately increasing. You don't even have to be Muslim to feel it, many non-Muslims who are perceived to be Muslim, suffer as well.

The ACLU gives a very thorough walk through of how to respond to instances of anti-Muslim discrimination. This article looks at the 3 most common instances.

Here are 3 common scenarios when anti-Muslim discrimination may occur:

When discriminated against because of your hijab:

The ACLU states that women generally have the freedom and the right to wear a hijab at an airport, at the border, in public schools, in the workplace (unless it causes the employer undue hardship), in public accommodations, and in certain states in state-issued photo IDs. Exceptions may depend on state and local laws or on particular circumstances.

Therefore, if a woman is asked to remove their hijab when they know they legally do not have to, they should assert their rights to wearing it. At the airport, TSA may still ask a woman to remove it, but they provide a private space for it to occur.

When law enforcement discriminates against you because of your religion or race:

The ACLU states that you should assert your right to remain silent, to speak to a lawyer, and have that lawyer be present when speaking to law enforcement. To assert this right, you should state that you're going to use your right to remain silent. When law enforcement asks you to participate in a voluntary interview, decline or ask for your lawyer to be present. They cannot ask any questions regarding your religion.

You can decline home searches if law enforcement shows up without a search warrant. If they do present a warrant, read the warrant to see if it's accurate, then remain silent and contact your attorney.

When you suffer discrimination in the workplace:

It is illegal to discriminate against an applicant or employee on the basis of religion or race (if the workplace has more than 15 employees). A person also has the right not to suffer from severe or pervasive workplace religious harassment that creates a hostile work environment. An employer could be held liable if this happens, however, it's sometimes difficult to prove and often depends on a case by case basis.

Employers must also try to accommodate an employee's religious practices or dress so long as it does not cause the employer undue hardship.

If you do suffer workplace discrimination due to your religion, you can file a complaint with the company's human resources department, you could file a complaint through the EEOC, or you could hire an attorney to file a lawsuit.


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