In Australia, the Islamophobia Register has reported 280 incidents in the past 12 months where people have been discriminated against or marginalized due to their Muslim faith and heritage.
In one example, a young lawyer tells of applying for a job and getting far up the interview process until she was asked about her surname, and responded that she was Lebanese Muslim. She was accidentally copied on an email in which the recruiter explained why he had chosen another applicant, writing: . “I found out she was Muslim and I decided to go with the other woman instead.”
Mariam Veiszade is President of the Islamophobia Register and also happens to be a lawyer. She says she’s been trying to get her colleagues to share their own stories in a public format. “They won’t. This is their livelihood. Do you want to be branded as the person who launched the complaint about religious discrimination?”
Lisa Annese, Chef Executive of the Diversity Council Australia, says there is no room for prejudice in the workforce not to mention there are clear benefits such as improved team performance, and a higher return on productivity and income. “We need to speak out against racism and xenophobia when we hear and see it and employers should have zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment at work.”