Job Difficulties for Muslims in France

During intense and contradictory debate on national identity in France, a study was published, which raises the question of how a country, that honors the universal values of freedom, equality, fraternity, wants to integrate Muslim citizens in French society. The study, which was carried out by French and American researchers from Stanford University and Sciences-Po, showed that French Muslims are in most cases discriminated based on religious affiliation, and not on their country roots.

France, of all Western European countries, has the biggest Muslim community, which adds up to five millions. There are many debates on the integration of immigrant roots of its citizens, but the reality is different. One example is the suggestion of prohibiting the burqa, which is a Muslim women’s clothing covering the body from head to toe.  According to the Interior Ministry, around 1900 women wear burqa. The proposed ban would be unconstitutional and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The study “Are French Muslims discriminated in their own country?” showed that Muslims who send their CVs to apply for a job, two and half times less likely get a positive response. At the same time it is important to mention that their salaries are on average 400 Euros less than of other French citizens. “Discrimination against Muslim candidates in the French labor market has very specific consequences for their standard of living,” is one of the main results of the analysis, which was the first one which took a closer look on Islamic discrimination in the French labor market.

In order to find out whether Muslim French citizens with immigration roots are discriminated because of their religious affiliation, the researchers wrote two identical CVs for 24-year old single women from Senegal. Senegal is a country, whose people immigrated to France in the early seventies. French and Senegal people shared the same language and history but not the religion due to the fact that two-thirds of the local population from Senegal is Muslim. The researchers created three fictional biographies: Marie Diouf, Khadija Diouf and Aurélie Ménard. In France, Diouf was a very famous surname Senegalese origin, whereas Ménard is a typical French last name. Khadija is a Muslim name, while Marie is supposed to be Christian. As a result, they could compare three different job seekers: French female job seeker, female with French-Senegalese descent with a Christian name and a female with the same descent having a Muslim name. Every application was very comparable to each other concerning experience, age, gender, residence and French nationality.  All CVs were sent out for similar jobs to 300 French companies. In the end of the research, Aurélie was more appreciated than Marie, but the difference between Aurélie and Khadija was striking. Aurélie got three times more positive responses than Khadija.

There is no doubt that in the French labor market a huge discrimination against Muslims exists, at least when it comes to white collars. Moreover, the study confirmed that Islamic religion is an obstacle in the Muslims economic success in France. Another study took a closer look to 511 Senegal families and came to the conclusion that Senegalese Muslims on average earn 400 Euros less than other citizens.


3 thoughts on “Job Difficulties for Muslims in France

  1. It is really an astonishing fact that muslims at the french labor market are that less welcome.
    The test with the “fake”-CVs from Marie, Aurélie and Khadija is therefor a logic result.

    If I remeber it right, a couple of years ago there was a civil commotion.
    There was a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and roits almost every night.
    And this all because of this unpractically bearish attitude of non-integrating the muslims.
    The question is if there ever will be a change in people´s mind.

  2. I think it is not normal to have such a discrimination in a country as France. Countries are always talking about integration, but how can a foreigner integrate or adapt if he or she is constantly being discriminated. Like for example by applying for a job. They make it hard for Muslims to get a job, but in the meanwhile they expect them to participate in the labour market and integrate. People have a certain image in their heads when they hear the word Muslim. It is because of what they see and hear in the media. But when will people stop following what the media is trying to convince them off and start thinking on their own. And treating all people as equals, whether they are Muslim, Christian or even Jewish. Right now France doesn’t act at all as a country that honors the universal values of freedom, equality and fraternity.

  3. France always wants to show their image for foreigner as a welcome country. He makes to believe that the integration for stranger is really easy, but all those images are wrong. Seriously, France is a country where there’s a lot of discrimination between all those “french people”. I mean by here than there are a lot of nationalities in france and even though people don’t wanna discriminate people, they do it.

    As the example of the fake CVs for a position in 300 french companies. We can see that the person with a french name has more chance and opportunities than the others. In the same time, we can say it’s normal, because we are in france and french people have priority.

    Just because of that we can say it’s a discrimination for the others. But in the same, there’s a big problem in france about those kind of situation, because, when a person like Khadija Diouf couldn’t have a job and it’s a french whose got it, he could call that a discrimination, but when it’s a french couldn’t have the job, because Khadija Diouf got it, they can’t say it’s a discrimination.

    What’s the point? France doesn’t wanna be “racism” for the jobs, but the others seeking that way to make them go away. So even, France is kind of rude to let them have a job, they could be already glad to have a place to live.


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