The debate going on in New York city about whether a Muslim mosque should be built near Ground Zero is getting ugly. Even Sarah Palin is getting in on the act.
Yesterday Palin commented about the Mosque on Facebook calling the planned Muslim mosque and community center:
An Intolerable Mistake on Hallowed Ground.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s defending the building of the mosque, called for religious tolerance yesterday.
No matter where you stand on the mosque, any time there is this much vitriolic dialogue against one group on a national stage one thing is inevitable. A backlash in the place people spend most of their time. This fury can not mode well for Muslims in the workplace, a group that has seen discrimination rise since Sept. 11, 2001.
Religious bias charges overall with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have nearly doubled since that fateful day that saw thousands of Americans killed. And such discrimination is a continued concern for the federal government. Religious bias charges increased to 3,386 in 2009, the highest number in the last decade. National origin charges have also been on the rise, at over 11,000 last year.
I’ve written about a variety of bias claims, including one against McDonald’s for allegedly not allowing a Muslim worker to wear a headscarf, and there have been a host of cases of employers not allowing Muslim workers to pray.
I do have my reservations about having employees wear their religion on their sleeves at work, but there is increasingly a double standard in the country when it comes to Muslims.
What happened to religious freedom? Some of you may be thinking, “Eve, you’re making a leap thinking bias in the workplace against Muslims will rise because of this nasty, televised fight to stop a mosque.” Well, like it or not, we bring all our baggage to work every morning. That’s just how it is.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese American poet, on religious tolerance:
“God made Truth with many doors to welcome every believer who knocks on them.”