November 26, 2013

Study: Muslim job candidates may face discrimination in Republican states

A new study by Carnegie Mellon University found that in the most Republican states in the country, employers may be less likely to interview job candidates whose social networking profiles indicate that the applicants are Muslim.

MuslimSocialDiscrimination1126As part of a social experiment, the researchers created four fictitious job candidates – each with a unique name that most likely points to someone who is male, U.S. born and Caucasian. The candidates had identical resumes. The researchers also created social network profiles for each of the candidates that revealed either his sexual orientation or whether he was a Muslim or Christian. All other information, including the profile photograph used for each candidate, was the same. The resumes, which did not mention the candidates’ online profile, were then sent out to more than 4,000 employers nationwide with job openings.

Readers should note that the study’s authors did not design the pool of open jobs to be representative of all jobs available in the country, or in Republican-leaning or Democrat-leaning states. The number of job vacancies varied from state to state, and overall, a smaller share of all open jobs was located in Republican states.

In both Republican and Democratic states, there was no difference between the call backs received by the gay candidate as compared with the straight candidate. But in the Republican states, the Christian candidate received more interview calls than the Muslim candidate. In the 10 states with the highest proportion of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney voters in the 2012 election, 17% of Christian applicants received interview calls, compared with 2% of the Muslim job candidates. There were no differences in call backs received by the Christian and Muslim candidates in the 10 states with the lowest proportion of Romney voters.

The study is not the first to pick up on perceived negative views of Muslims in America. Nearly half of Muslim Americans pointed to either negative views about Muslims (29%) or discrimination and prejudice (20%) as the most pressing issues facing their community in a 2011 Pew Research Center survey. At the same time, however, more than half (56%) of Muslim Americans surveyed also said that they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country.

The Carnegie Mellon study also seems to support our findings about workplace treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. An overwhelming proportion of LGBT Americans say they are more accepted in society today than they were 10 years ago, according to our 2013 survey. When asked about specific experiences with discrimination, 5% of LGBT Americans say that in the past year they have been treated unfairly by an employer because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Topics: Muslim Americans, Discrimination and Prejudice

  1. Photo of Neha Sahgal

    is associate director of religion research at Pew Research Center.


  1. Nathan Baker3 years ago

    This study makes too many assumptions. For example, if 51% of voters in a state vote for a Republican candidate, does that necessarily mean over 51% of human resources personnel in that state are republican. You would need a lot more evidence and research than presented here to come close to making the assertions that were presented here. The assertions may be true, but this study does not even answer enough questions to even be considered evidence towards those assertions.

  2. Light4 years ago

    I dont even know where to start…

    Non-Believers = Kafirs/Infidels.
    Gay Bashing.
    Sharia / Anti Democracy.
    Imposing “ONLY MUSLIM ZONES”

    ONE GOD!?! Puts Christianity/Hinduism etc out of the question.

    How about for starters…
    Equal rights for non muslims in Islamic countries?
    Oh the hypocrisy!

    1. Sam2 years ago

      It’s more about your ignorance and bigotry than presumed hypocrisy.

      Muslim only zone? Only holy sites of Mecca and Medina would qualify. 99.9% of the muslim world is open to visitors, including just about every ancient mosque.

      “Infidel” is a term that’s drummed up in western islamophobic hate circles. The great majority of muslim countries do not legally discriminate against Christians. Gulf countries are a special case, but even there, christians as a group have the highest salaries and PAY NO TAXES! That’s less economic discrimination than in their home countries, lol.

      Every major religion defines itself as the only true religion. Islam actually recognizes Jesus as prophet, but not as God, so in this sense, it is actually more accepting of Christianity than vice versa.

  3. Hassannoor4 years ago

    I think in my point of view we need to upgrade CNN and FOX NEWS from anti Islam by just calling all Muslims to be terrorist.
    Muslims are required to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people, namely those who received messages. Christians and Jews are called People of the Book. Muslims are asked to call upon the People of the Book for common terms, namely, to worship One God, and to work together for the solutions of the many problems in the society.
    Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims throughout centuries in the Middle East and other Asian and African countries. The second Caliph Umar did not pray in the church in Jerusalem so as not to give the Muslims an excuse to take it over. Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Muslims.
    Jews fled from Spain during the Inquisition, and they were welcomed by the Muslims. They settled in the heart of the Islamic Caliphate. They enjoyed positions of power and authority.Muslims in Palestine also welcomed Jews when they were attacked by Hitler 

  4. Sabirah Ahmad4 years ago

    Sad to say. I am about 95% convinced that my name and social network profiles are the reasons why I haven’t been called for a single interview. I only apply to jobs I know I am qualified for, yet I always receive an automatic response stating that I don’t have the minimal skills required for the position. (Having 21 yrs experience in the field, I find that hard to believe). I am almost tempted to create an alter ego sounding like a “good ol’ girl” and send that resume to all the places who rejected me so far and see what happens… could be quite interesting.

  5. L. C. Smith4 years ago

    With all due respect you have not included, “Those who are enlightened about Islam” in your survey categories. It appears by your structuring, that “Ignorance about Islam” would be a prevailing reason for the impact of discrimination. However, I would postulate that the results of your survey appears to illuminate the fact that understanding the basic tenents and dogma put forth by Islam would influence a false positive in your survey. The results of this would not necessarily be from a Christian perspecive but one of social comport.

    One would not relish engaging in a situation of jeopardy knowingly to their ultimate detriment.

  6. Niels Jorgensen4 years ago

    Can anyone name just one country where the muslim immigration has not created unrest and problems.
    In several European cities have muslims created “no go” zones for non-muslims.
    The cost of a muslims immigrant in Europe is between $ 400,000 and $ 1,000,000. The latter for an immigrant from Somalia.
    If the United States had the same cultural, criminal and economic probles as many European countries the answers would be even more negative.

  7. Vanessa Smyth4 years ago

    I think that perhaps you should look at the way the Muslims treat Christians. If it would be my plans, I would not even think of considering a Muslim. Has anyone done this survey in a Muslim Country where they stake out women and stone them for failure to obey?

  8. Steve G4 years ago

    Has a survey ever been done on the problems a Christian might have getting a job in a Muslim country?

    1. Siraj4 years ago

      Christians never have problems getting High PAYING jobs in Muslim countries… typical Ex-pats for High paying jobs in Saudia Arabia are of all nationalities especially American… and they are tax exempt on first 93000 dollars… so they BANK their whole salary while having their housing/transportation payed for.

      1. shashi bhushan kunda4 years ago

        really? What about citizenship?

        1. Sam2 years ago

          Even 2nd-generation arab muslim residents in the Persian Gulf countries can’t get citizenship.

  9. Brad Patterson4 years ago

    I can’t say I’m surprised, by the way some people post things about our President calling him a Muslim as if it’s some kind of curse word.

  10. Nancy Murtha4 years ago

    History shows that America welcome newbies by first suspecting them and treating them as outsiders. Muslims are the latest in line of “suspects”. But, America has changed so things are a lot better for today’s newcomers. Muslims have it much easer than it was for the newly arrived Catholics or the Jews before them.

    America’s greatness should be measured not by its short term schizophrenia but by the ever increasing size and diversity of its melting pot. Americans on the other hand should appreciate the enrichment of not only our culture but our economy as well when these newcomers add to the brain power here and drain the brain power of their home countries.

    Perhaps this is the biggest example of American exceptionalism we can practically offer other countries and cultures.

    I would encourage the newly arrived Muslims to ignore the negativity of a paranoid minority and do what others before them have done to succeed despite the odds. Research why and how the Jews as an example got involved on the Hollywood’s ground floor when other opportunities were shut to them. Hard work is GUARANTEED to pay off in America. If you are in America today, you have already won the life lottery.

    Start your own businesses so you are creating jobs and you can decide with whom you work with and where you work. Start businesses in growing fields such as hi-tech and life-sciences or in under-served niches of established industries because it’s where merit counts instead of how one prays to their Lord.

  11. Packard Day4 years ago

    Just a haunch here, but maybe, just maybe, when male Muslim candidates begin to unreservedly renounce their religion’s misogynistic oppression of all women, its hatred of Jews, and its violent intolerance of all other faiths, then perhaps Muslim candidates in this country will be viewed differently. Until then, however…

    Vincit omnia veritas

    1. Siraj4 years ago

      How about you stop speaking out of ignorance… and speak to a girl who is wearing Hijab and ask her if she feels oppressed…

      As for hatred of Jews… its not Jews so much as Zionists who keep disregarding UN resolutions and continually occupy more land split Palestine and continually strangle Gaza. I’m sorry but it was the Muslims who opened their boarders to the Jews during and Post WWII when other nations turned them away.

      Intolerance of other faiths- Wow, just wow too much fox news is really bad for you…. Read any history book on Islam and you will see the amount of justice/respect for other religions.

    2. Mustafa4 years ago

      Okay, all white people hate black people. All black people hate white people

      everyone hates each other

    3. Afifah4 years ago

      I think what’s the most disturbing is that people ask for religious denomination when applying for a job. What does religious denomination have to do with job performance? If you are concerned about morality, I think a criminal record tells far more than religion.

      On the other hand, I am happy that homosexuals face less discrimination in job opportunities. I hope that the same happens for Muslims in the future. Peace be upon us all.

      1. Lorena4 years ago

        People do not get asked about religion when applying for a job. The problem is that many Americans do not view Islam as a religion so much as a cultural and political ideology, with beliefs and viewpoints which are clearly anti-women, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian and anti-American. Whether said out loud or not, Americans do not under any circumstances what that ideology to have a stronghold in this country. They don’t want mosques built in their neighbourhood. The mother of any culturally Christian or Jewish American girl would be horrified to have their daughter marry into Islam. The more we know of Islam and the way non-muslims are treated in Muslim majority countries, it seems an eminently sensible viewpoint. Sorry, that may make some upset, but it is the truth.

        1. Sam2 years ago

          @lorena “The more we know of Islam and the way non-muslims are treated in Muslim majority countries”

          The problem is that you are being misinformed, you extrapolate what is presented in warzones and activities of marginal extremists armed group and wrongly perceive them as the norm. The muslim community in the west (and ultimately in the rest of the world) pays the price for this misinformation and prejudice.

  12. Marc Z.4 years ago

    Wow. Can this be true?

    So much for treating one’s neighbor as you would like to be treated.