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Questionnaire: Have You Experienced Religious Discrimination?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Religion Religious Discrimination

The Race Relations Act 1976 and The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 offer individuals protection from religious discrimination in employment and vocational training. Unfortunately just because this legislation exists does not mean that everyone follows it. Religious discrimination still occurs throughout the UK, but sometimes people are uncertain of if they have experienced religious discrimination because there are so many different varieties of religious discrimination in the world today.

To help you determine if you have experienced religious discrimination we have created this questionnaire. All you need to do is answer each question with "yes" or "no" and then total up your answers. Match your total to the answer below to find out if you have experienced religious discrimination.

Questionnaire

1. Have you ever been called a derogatory term because of your religion?
2. Have you ever been denied a request for time to pray at school or work?
3. Have you ever been denied holiday requests in order to observe religious holidays?
4. Have you ever been forced to work on a holiday because you do not observe that holiday?
5. Have you ever been subjected to disparaging comments due to religious dress?
6. Have you ever been subjected to disparaging comments due to a religious diet?
7. Have you ever been forced to share your religious beliefs?
8. Have you ever been forced to defend your religious beliefs?
9. Have you ever been physically threatened or warned away from something because of your religion?
10. Have you ever been turned down for a job because of your religion?
11. Have you ever been told that you do or do not conform to religious stereotypes?
12. Have you ever been told that your education or career would suffer if you reported inappropriate behaviour towards you because of your religion?

Have You Experienced Religious Discrimination?

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you may have experienced religious discrimination. Each of the questions above represents a potential form of religious discrimination however the specifics of your situation are what can make or break a claim of religious discrimination. It may be that others do not understand that what they have said or done could be regarded as discrimination, so if you feel safe and up to the challenge then you might confront these individuals. However, it may be that an institution allows or even encourages behaviours that discriminate on the grounds of religion and therefore discrimination must be challenged at the institutional level.

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you have likely experienced a variety of forms of discrimination based on your religion. If you have found a pattern of discrimination, such as involving the same people or the same institution, then you may want to consider reporting the details of this pattern. Be very clear about what happened, how it affected you and why you believe a pattern has been established. Most workplaces and schools have procedures in place for reporting discrimination, however if you believe that discrimination has occurred outside of such institutions then you may want to check with your local authority to find out what recourse you have to challenge religious discrimination in the community.

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you have almost certainly experienced a number of types and instances of religious discrimination. If the instances have all occurred at the same place, involve the same people or were perpetrated against individuals of the same faith then it is likely that a pattern of discrimination has emerged. In addition to reporting these instances of discrimination you might want to consider pro-actively addressing the ignorance surrounding religious discrimination. Planning a celebration of diversity or organising a talk or workshop on religious discrimination and diversity could be ways that you educate a number of people at once about the importance of equal opportunities for all religions.

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