CAIR-NY recently secured a generous settlement from a major company for a Muslim employee facing religious harassment at work. Since the beginning of her employment, our client’s coworkers and supervisors openly criticized her choice to wear a hijab, questioned her excessively about her religion, and asked her to defend Islam as nonviolent. She contacted CAIR-NY for assistance in reaching a settlement with the company. Our legal team was able to secure a settlement 40% higher than the one originally requested by the client. This settlement reaffirmed our client’s right to protection from workplace discrimination on the basis of her religion, and ensured that she would no longer be forced to endure such clearly unfair treatment.
From The New York City Commission on Human Rights:
In 2016 there was a 46% rise in reporting of complaints to CCHR on basis of race, religion, national origins and citizenship status. This,combined with anecdotal reporting of a rise in hate and bias incidents against Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Sikh, and Jewish (MASAJS) communities, led the Commission to convened a series of listening sessions with advocacy organizations, service providers, and community leaders to learn about the experiences and needs of various communities in New York City. As a direct result of these discussions and in response to the lack of comprehensive data about the scope and frequency of bias-motivated harassment, discrimination, and violence across at-risk communities, the Commission launched a survey project initiative to collect data on bias incidents, harassment, and discrimination experienced by the MASAJS communities in the City.
The Commission partnered with Strength in Numbers Consulting Group (SiNCG), an M/WBE research and evaluation firm experienced in conducting rigorous community-based survey projects in partnership with marginalized communities, to consult with partner organizations on the development of a survey. In partnership with SiNCG and 20 advocacy organizations, direct service providers, and CBOs serving the MASAJS communities in the City, the Commission convened 15 focus groups with 118 community members about their recent experiences with and perceptions of bias harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes. The findings of these focus groups served as the basis for the development of a 5-10 minute survey, available electronically or on paper, to gather data from MASAJS community members on their experiences of bias harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes since July 2016.
The survey will launch on October 12th, remaining in the field until mid-November, and will be available in Arabic, Bengali, English, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Russian, Urdu, and Yiddish. The Commission is working with over two dozen community partners including CAIR NY on a comprehensive outreach and promotional strategy for the survey in an effort to yield a diverse and robust sample of the MASAJS communities in City. The Commission will publish a final report on survey findings to empower the Commission and other City agencies to better address and combat bias-motivated harassment, discrimination, and violence. The report and survey findings will also serve as an advocacy and fundraising tool for CBOs, advocacy organizations, and direct service providers.
You have most likely heard some type of comments regarding Muslims and Islam. Whether you know a Muslim or not, felt compelled to respond, but simply did not know what to say, you are not alone. I applaud you for taking the opportunity to find out how you can help fight Islamophobia and encourage peace in the world. This guide will help you to be an ally to the Islamic community and the basic principles can apply to the defense of all groups and help to eradicate stereotypes and discrimination.