11 August 2016

UK confusion between integration and counter-terrorism hinders Muslims

Muslim women in particular are discriminated against inside and outside their communities and this needs to be addressed, says Commons report.

The government’s conflation of integration with counter-terrorism has exacerbated inequalities experienced by British Muslims, MPs have said.

Islamophobia, stereotyping, cultural traditions and insufficient role models have also contributed to Muslims experiencing the highest levels of unemployment among all religious and ethnic groups – 12.8% compared with 5.4% for the general population – according to the Commons women and equalities committee.

The report, called Employment Opportunities for Muslims in the UK, published by the committee on Thursday, calls on the government to introduce specific policies to help Muslims overcome these issues but directs some of its strongest concerns towards integration policy.

The MPs say that rather than focusing on issues such as language difficulties through the lens of counter-extremism, which they say happens at present, the emphasis should be on “how it improves the life chances of disadvantaged communities”. [The Guardian] Read more