London, 09 Dzulqa’dah 1437/12 August 2016 (MINA) – The Women and Equalities Committee said Thursday Muslims were the most disadvantaged group in British society, with an unemployment rate double that of the general population.
The problem is particularly acute among women, who account for two thirds of economically inactive Muslims, the committee was quoted by KUNA as saying in their latest report.
It urged the Government to design a “coherent plan” specifically aimed at improving life chances for Muslims.
And it called on ministers to distinguish clearly between strategies aimed at fostering integration and those targeting extremism.
Committee chair Maria Miller said the Prevent strategy, launched under Labor and carried on when Theresa May was Home Secretary, had become a “source of significant tension” among some Muslims.
The former Culture Secretary said some had been reluctant to talk to the committee because they feared the inquiry was in some way related to Prevent.
The MPs also suggest that the Prevent strategy is contributing to the disadvantage experienced by Muslims in the UK.
“We do not underestimate the challenges the Government faces in tackling extremism, but the conflation of integration with counter-extremism has exacerbated inequalities experienced by Muslims,” the report read.
“The Government needs to tackle the disadvantages faced by Muslims in their own right, not through the lens of counter-extremism.” The report recommended a special mentoring program for Muslim women to help increase their employment opportunities.
“The Equality Act applies to everyone and all women, regardless of faith should be free to make their own choices about all aspects of their lives, including education, employment and dress, and subsequently be empowered to overcome the disadvantages they may face,” it said. (T/R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)