Religious discrimination : Muslims claiming equality in the EU
Title: Religious discrimination : Muslims claiming equality in the EU
Author: AMIRAUX, Valerie
Citation: Christophe BERTOSSI (ed.), European anti-discrimination and the politics of citizenship : Britain and France, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007, Migration, minorities, and citizenship. pp. 143-167
ISBN: 9781403993618; 9780230627314
Let's imagine a young woman queuing for her first visit to a job center. She has dark skin and wears a colorful headscarf. She is carrying a file on which her long oriental name is written. It is longer than the line she had to write it down on. Without following her through the complexities of job center administration, what do you think you would notice first as a 'white' non-Muslim spectator of the scene? Her gender, her different skin color, her ethnic origin, or her religious affiliation as indicated by the headscarf? Which is the most visible of these signs? Where is difference more striking? Let's now suppose that the dialogue with the job center officer is aggressive and ends up with the young girl crying and the officer yelling at her that she will never be accepted as a job seeker in Britain. What could be the motive? Her bad English? Not having correctly filled in the required forms? An arbitrary decision by the employee not to assist her for racist reasons? Let's now imagine that the young woman with the headscarf goes to court and claims discrimination, what would be the most efficient criterion to promote in her case: gender, race, ethnicity, religion? What would be the grounds for helping her to get reparation and for asking that justice be done? Is there any clear and distinguished reason at all for explaining the bad treatment of which she has been the victim?
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