Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France: Education, Employment, and Social Cohesion Initiatives [PDF download]

Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France: Education, Employment, and Social Cohesion Initiatives [PDF download]

Report: Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France

A recent comparative research project organized by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and the University of Oxford and Erasmus University in Rotterdam, details the complicated history and current situation of immigrant integration in France. Currently, the government’s immigration initiatives cease after an immigrant has been in France for five years. French law does not allow for statistics to be gathered concerning a person’s ethnicity or religion, and because many children of immigrants are French citizens, it is difficult to assess the efficacy of the current government initiatives.

President Francois Hollande is considering reforms to the country’s integration policies. This comprehensive report discusses immigration trends, and the youth as a key population in integration policies, as well as educational, employment and social cohesion policies.

Nursing home refused to allow Muslim worker to wear hijab, government lawsuit alleges

July 9, 2014

Nursing Home Prohibited Religious Headwear and Fired Worker in Retaliation Federal Agency Charges

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Jasper, Ala., nursing home violated federal law when it refused to allow a Muslim employee to wear a hijab (the traditional covering for the hair and neck that is worn by Muslim women) on the job, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed June 30.  EEOC v. Shadescrest Health Care Center, ND Ala. Case 6:14-cv-01253-SLB (June 30, 2014).  The agency also contends that Shadescrest fired the employee in retaliation for filing a complaint with the EEOC.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, in August 2012, Tracy Martin, a Muslim woman, was hired as a certified nursing assistant by Shadescrest Healthcare Center.  On or about Aug. 9, 2012, Martin reported to work wearing a hijab, in accord with her sincerely held religious beliefs.  According to the EEOC, Shadescrest refused Martin’s request to wear the hijab, despite its religious significance, and instead, told her to remove the head covering or be subject to termination.  Subsequently, Martin filed a charge with the EEOC complaining that Shadescrest refused to accommodate her religious beliefs.  Weeks after Shadescrest received notice of Martin’s charge of discrimination, Martin was summarily fired.  According to the EEOC, Martin was fired in retaliation for her complaint to the EEOC and on account of her attempt to exercise her rights under Title VII’s religious accommodation provision.

“Businesses, like Shadescrest, must respect the religious practices of their employees and, when practical, accommodate those practices,” said EEOC Birmingham District Director Delner Franklin-Thomas. “The EEOC will continue to target policies and practices that discourage or prohibit people from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes, or that impede the EEOC’s investigative or enforcement efforts.

Germany: Dismissal because of headscarf

July 10, 2014

A hospital in the city of Dortmund has nonretained a nurse because of her decision to wear a headscarf. The thirty six- year-old nurse decided to wear a headscarf after returning from her second parental leave. Manager Günther Nierhoff explained that the headscarf ban for hospital staff is well known and openly communicated: “We employ a great deal of nurses and doctors which are Muslims”. The manager emphasized that this procedure has nothing to do with discrimination since the hospital offers a room for silence and a special washroom for Muslims.

Spanish Islamic Community asks employers to make it easier for their Muslim workers during Ramadan

June 30, 2014

More than 1.7 million Muslims living in Spain have started Sunday, the Ramadan. In this context, the Union of Islamic Communities in Spain (UCIDE) calls on employers to provide, where possible, its practitioners workers to fulfill this task.  “We appeal to the generosity, good practice and good expertise of public and private employers and managers, to the extent of its powers to facilitate the achievement of the daily fast during this month,” says the president of the UCIDE, Riay Tatary. The organization points out that the Spanish law recognizes the right of Muslims to seek the conclusion of the work day one hour before sunset during Ramadan, which is then recovered hours by agreement of the parties.

Head teachers’ union raises serious concerns over ‘Trojan Horse’ schools

The National Association of Head Teachers says it has serious concerns over schools at the centre of the alleged Islamic plot in Birmingham, with the union’s general secretary warning that Islamic groups wanted “a dominant influence” over schools in the city.

 

Russell Hobby, the NAHT’s general secretary, was speaking before the union’s conference in Birmingham this weekend, where he is to tell delegates: “A tight network of religious leaders of the Islamic faith has made a concerted effort to get involved in the running of schools and to strengthen the power of governing bodies to have a dominant influence in shaping the character of local schools.”

 

Hobby said that while his union was convinced the “Trojan Horse” letter – which described an alleged plot to undermine schools in the city – was fake, it had triggered warnings about school governance, abuse of employment laws and interference with children’s education.

 

Hobby said: “We don’t believe that these allegations are a cause for panic. But neither do we believe that they are a source of comfort either, there have been things going on inside our schools which would make some of us feel uncomfortable.”

 

Hobby said the NAHT and its members had identified three main areas of concern:

 

“The first is contravening what we understand to be the principles of good governance and putting pressure on the paid school leaders within schools to adopt certain philosophies and approaches.”

 

“The second we believe is breaching good employment practice and indeed employment law in order to further this influence, and putting pressure on individual staff members heading into territory which we understand to be constructive dismissal and making sure people are appointed to schools on the basis of their beliefs and not necessarily their skills.”

 

The third issue, which Hobby said was “more serious but also more speculative”, was whether the entitlement of children to a rounded education had been contravened.

 

Ofsted said all 21 inspection reports will be published together with a letter from the chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to the Department of Education at the beginning of June.

Islamophobia the rise in Belgium

Islamophobia on the rise in Belgium20.03.2013

Le Soir

A new report published by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) details how racism in Belgium increasingly manifests itself through Islamophobia. The country’s 600.000-strong Muslim community faces, according to the report, an increasing amount of structural discrimination in the employment and educational sector as well as in questions of access to public and private services.  Of the racism classified as religiously based, 80% is aimed at Muslims in Belgium. What’s more important however is the role of the Belgian media, which is presented as highly Islamophobic with 51% of the annul media complaints received to be connected to Islamophobia. Additionally,  19% of employment complaints and 11% of educational complaints were related to anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiments and actions.

The ENAR also points out to the exclusion of students who choose to wear the hijab from the education system, even if no legal degree endorses these regulations. The organisation requests the Belgian government to implement and ensure the freedom of religion of Muslims by repealing all provisions on the prohibition of the hijab and other signs of convictional practices at school

Islamophobia on the rise in Belgium

Department Store Hema Wrong to Fire Worker for Headscarf

3 January 2013

 

A Belgian tribunal has determined that an outlet of the Dutch department store Hema was wrong to fire an employee for wearing a headscarf. The woman had worked for the store, located in the Belgian city of Genk, for two months wearing a headscarf before her employment was terminated on the grounds that she refused to remove it following complaints from customers. The tribunal ordered Hema to pay the 21- year- old woman six months salary in compensation.

 

A place for Muslim women in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Free Press – September 29, 2012

 

Hamood learned to swim — and love the water — through a female-only swimming program organized by the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute at the Winnipeg city-owned Sherbrook Pool. The institute’s mandate includes providing programs and services for Muslim women such as Hamood in order to adapt to their new lives in Canada, explains institute president Yasmin Ali.

After six years in borrowed spaces, Ali hopes the institute’s new and spacious home in a former garment factory, Gemini Fashions on Juno Street, will allow the organization to expand its programming and continue to fund existing ones, such as the 10-week swimming program. The new location adjoins Peerless Garments, where the institute runs an employment-training program and sewing workshop for Muslim women.

Dutch Unemployment Rates Higher Among Moroccan Residents

16 July 2012

In the first quarter of 2012 the unemployment rate has risen from 22% to 29% among ethnic minority youth. The figure compares to a 10% unemployment rate among ethnic Dutch. Moroccan youth face the highest chances of unemployment with a 39% unemployment rate. The figures appear in a report on the place of non-ethnic Dutch on the job market in the Netherlands released by Forum this week, and compare with employment rates measured internationally by Eurostat.