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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

LA Times: Workplace Bias Against Muslims, Arabs on Rise, Advocates Say

Reports of workplace discrimination against people perceived to be Muslim or Arab soared after the Sept. 11 attacks and then declined, government statistics indicate. But some advocates say they've seen a resurgence in the last year that corresponds to global political events.

"Anytime there's anything in the news … that is related to the Middle East, you see a spike in hate-motivated and employment-related incidents," said Kareem Shora, director of the legal department of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

After 9/11, the EEOC introduced a category of employment discrimination against people who are or are perceived to be Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian or Sikh. Nationwide statistics from the EEOC indicate that such complaints — so far exceeding 1,000 — have decreased each year since 2002.

However, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says it processed more civil-rights and workplace discrimination complaints in 2005 than ever before. The annual total jumped to 1,972 in 2005 from 1,522 in 2004. The discrepancy may indicate that victims fear reporting discrimination to the government. [Link]

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