It’s the end of the week, which means it’s time to assess the latest Americans-are-bigots story in The New York Times. This time around, The Gray Hag ran an article entitled “Muslims Report Rising Discrimination at Work.”
The article explains:
“[A] record number of Muslim workers are complaining of employment discrimination, from co-workers calling them “terrorist” or “Osama” to employers barring them from wearing head scarves or taking prayer breaks.”
The so-called Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is charged with enforcing Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. According to the Times article, Muslim workers filed a “record” 803 discrimination claims to the EEOC in the year ended September 30, 2009. The article then claims that this number is up 60 percent from 2005.
The complaints include such things as being called names by co-workers as well as employers’ not allowing sufficient prayer breaks.
After reading the story, I’m sure the Times wants us to conclude that this is just one more solid piece of evidence that we’re on the verge of pogroms in America—one more brick in The Great Satan’s palace of hate.
People should never hurl disgusting insults at others, including guttersnipe slurs like “camel jockey,” which one Muslim worker claims to have been called. But the implications of the Times article are, as usual, wrong. The ghost of Walter Duranty still haunts our favorite American rag.
First, let’s remember: The EEOC is a federal body. This means that the 803 figure is true for the entire nation. There is no official count of how many Muslims reside in the United States, but independent surveys have put the figure at anywhere from around 1.3 million to 7 million.
The 7 million estimate is, by the way, courtesy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Let’s lowball it and say there are only a million Muslims in this country. This means that, in 2009, .08% of America’s Muslims complained about being called names at work or about not being hired for wanting to adhere to some degree of hijab.
From the sordid corners of bureaucratic America, the Times dragged out the following demagogue to analyze this issue:
“There’s a level of hatred and animosity that is shocking,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney of the E.E.O.C.’s Phoenix office. “I’ve been doing this for 31 years, and I’ve never seen such antipathy toward Muslim workers.”
Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location:
By the way, how do discrimination complaints usually pan out once they reach the EEOC?