Workplace Discrimination of the Middle Eastern Communities Living in the

WorkplaceDiscrimination of the Middle Eastern Communities Living in the UnitedStates


WorkplaceDiscrimination: Middle Eastern Communities Living in the U.S

TheMiddle Eastern communities are some of the minority groups that facesignificant discrimination in the U.S. labor market. Statistics showthat about 64 % of the Arab Americans are active in the labor force,but approximately 5 % of them are unemployed (Audi, 2008). About 71 %of those in the labor market are employed in professional,managerial, sales, technical, and administrative fields. In addition,it is estimated that about 88 % of the active Arab Americans from theMiddle East are either employed in the private sector by doing theirprivate businesses with only 12 of them securing jobs in thegovernment agencies (Audi, 2008). In most cases, Arab Americans arediscriminated against by being denied employment opportunities,underpaid, or retrenched.

AlthoughArab Americans coming from the Middle East have been discriminatedagainst throughout the history of the U.S., but the September 11attacks exacerbated the level of workplace discrimination. Studieshave established a positive association between the acts of terrorismand increases in cases of discrimination against Arab Americans inthe U.S. labor market. For example, Audi (2008) reported that casesof discrimination against Arab Americans increased from 1.9 % to 3.1% from 1992 to 2004 and increased by double in 2005. The terroristattack that occurred in 2001 was the major factor contributing toexponential increases in cases of discrimination against Arabicemployees.

Mostnon-Muslim employers and workers tend to believe that all Muslims,especially those who come from the Middle East are either members orsympathizers of terror groups. The Christian employers and employeesstarted labeling their Arab Americans as suicide bombers andterrorists (Audi, 2008). This was followed by open harassment atplaces of work, which was perceived an act of being a patriot by somecoworkers. For example, an Iraqi-born man who worked in theconstruction industry was labeled as a terrorist and called “SaddamHussein” by co-workers. The man filed a case and was paid $ 33,500as damages (Equal Employment Commission, 2015). This implies thatname calling and insults are some of the forms of discriminationsthat Aram Americans face.

Thefew Arab Americans who get employment opportunities face differenttypes of challenges. For example, Arab Americans are at a higher riskof being retrenched than other minority groups and the whiteAmericans. For example, the charging party in the case of EEOC v.Poggenpohl was terminated after 20 years of employment (Audi, 2008).This occurred soon after the September 11 attack. In addition, ArabAmericans are paid less compared to other minority groups occupyingsimilar job positions. Studies show that Arab American families earnabout $ 29,000 annually less than other racial groups (Vang, 2010).Therefore, apart from being denied the employment opportunities, ArabAmericans who luckily finds jobs work under harsh environment.

Inconclusion, Arab Americans who come from the Middle East are amongthe minority groups that are discriminated the most in the U.S. labormarket. Most importantly, the rate of discrimination against the ArabAmericans is positively associated with the terror attacks. Thisimplies that the non-Arab employers and employees in the U.S. havedeveloped a perception that Arabic employees are either members orassociates of terror groups. This has culminated in thediscrimination against Arab Americans in terms of compensation,recruitment, and other forms of mistreatment.


Audi,G. (2008). Challenges facing the Arab American community from a legalperspective. AmericanStudies Journal.Retrieved April 28, 2015, from

EqualEmployment Commission (2015). Office of general counsel FY 2004annual report: Summary of accomplishments. U.S.Equal Employment Commission.Retrieved April 28, 2015, from

Vang,C. (2010). Aneducational psychology of methods in multicultural education.Pieterlen: Peter Lang.


Racialprofiling of Middle Eastern communities living in the U.S

Racialprofiling is commonplace in the United States, and it mainly targetsthe minority races. Racial profiling refers to the use of one’srace or ethnicity to decide whether law enforcement should be engaged(Audi, 2008). Although racial profiling is considered as an illegalpractice in many states, police officers use the excuse that mostterrorist groups are composed of the Arab members. This serves as thejustification for unwarranted search, stop, and arrest. According toAudi (2008) the increase in the number of terror attacks ispositively correlated with the increase in the practice of racialprofiling in the United States. Arab Americans driving along theAmerican roads are stopped and searched, not because they havecommitted any crime, but just because they are members of the MiddleEastern communities.

Policedepartments operating in different states of the U.S. have a recordof experimenting different security programs, including those thatare not based on the law. An example, of these police departments isthe New York Police Department, which currently have two securityprograms that are propagating racial profiling against the minoritygroups. The Stop and Frisk is a program that authorizes the policeofficers in New York to stop Arab Americans and search them todetermine whether they are carrying weapons of mass destruction.Unfortunately, nine out of ten Arab Americans who are frisked areinnocents (Soliman, 2015). The second program that was recentlyinstituted is referred to as Zone Assessment Unit. Zone Assessmentauthorizes police officers to monitor Arab Americans living orvisiting New York and collect data from other support departments inorder to determine whether they are potential terrorists. Althoughthe ultimate goal of these programs is to enhance the homelandsecurity, it is ironical for the government that advocates forequality to label Arab Americans as potential terrorists.

Differentgovernment agencies have set precedence for the private sector andthe business community that are currently taking the practice ofracial profiling of Arab Americans from the government. In one of therecent incidents, an Arab American family (a husband and the wife)was harassed when travelling with Delta Airline to Detroit fromFlorida (Harb, 2015). In this incident, Hider, the American Arab wastold, “control your kids, this is America”. The statement wasintended to show Hider that he was in the wrong country and ought tobe careful. It was not surprising to find that the crew members didintervene to address this type of racial profiling. This confirmsthat profiling of the Arab Americans has become so common to anextent that Americans do not find it wrong. In most cases the ArabAmericans who are arrested are denied bails even without the proof ofcrimes they are alleged to have committed.

Inconclusion, racial profiling is an illegal and controversial issuethat has made the lives of Arab Americans miserable. Racial profilingagainst the Arab Americans was started by the law enforcement agentsfollowing he increase in the number of terror attacks and terrorthreats. This was followed by the development of programs that targetthe Arab Americans. The decision made by the government agencies totake up the initiative of profile and label Arab Americans aspotential terrorist has trickled down the citizens and commercialenterprises. This has denied Arab Americans equal rights ofprotection, privacy, movement, and expression to other racial groups.


Audi,G. (2008). Challenges facing the Arab American community from a legalperspective. AmericanStudies Journal.Retrieved April 28, 2015, from

Harb,A. (2015). Arab American family alleges harassment by Delta agentpassenger. TheArab American News.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from,-passenger.html

Soliman,E. (2015). A common cause: Police profiling plagues Arab American andcommunication of color. ArabAmerican Institute.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from


Hatecrime against the Arab Americans

Hatecrime endangers the lives of the targeted groups, especially when themajority races express bias against the minority groups. The FederalBureau of Investigation defined the hate crime as offenses that arecommitted against an individual, society, or property by an offenderwho is motivated by bias against disability, race, religion, nationalorigin, or ethnicity among other social characteristic (Audi, 2008).Most states have already developed laws that criminalize crimes thatare motivated by biases, but this has not protected the ArabAmericans from hate crime. Initially hate crime in the United Statestargeted the black Americans. Recent trends indicate that theanti-Islamic and anti-Arab groups and individuals are targeting theArab Americans. These groups are motivated by racial and religiousdifferences since they believe that Arab Americans, especially thosewho come from the Middle East countries are either members orsympathizers of terror organizations.

Similarto other types of social challenges that Arab Americans are facedwith, hate crimes against Arab Americans are motivated by theperception that Arab Americans are responsible for terror attacks inthe U.S. This has reduced religious tolerance in the U.S andincreased the number of religious radicals in the United States. Inone of the recent cases, three Arab Americans were shot dead inChapel Hill. It was reported that the crime was committed by a whiteman who was motivated by racial hatred (Katz &amp Perez-Pena, 2015).Families of the three victims described the shooting as a hate crimethat was partly motivated by the ongoing disputes over parking andpartly by racial and religious hatred. Currently, killing ArabAmericans is being perceived as a sign of patriotism in some parts ofthe United States. This is common among people who believed thatkilling an Arab American is like killing a terrorist, which isperceived as an effort to enhance homeland security.

Thegovernment of the United States has failed to demonstrate itscommitment in addressing the issue of hate crime in the past. Thereluctance of the government to intervene has resulted increasedcases of hate crime against Arab Americans by 300 % between the year2001 and 2015 (Garamendi, 2015). Studies show that bias crimes areunderreported and misclassification in the United States, which is amajor concern since it indicates the government’s irresponsibility.Underreported of hate crimes is attributed to the fact that thetargeted communities (including the Arab Americans from the MiddleEast countries) have learned from the past that no governmentagencies is willing to listen to them (Murphy, 2015). Currently, hatecrime is considered as the worst type of crime that has made the ArabAmericans, especially those who emigrated from the Middle East afearful community.

Theanti-Arab and anti-Islamic hate crimes have made the lives of ArabAmericans miserable given that they have become the target ofnon-Arab radicals. The perception that nearly all terrorist groupsoriginate from the Middle East has created a general idea that allArabs are terrorists of sympathizers of terrorists. This has resultedin the killing of innocent Arab Americans and attack of severalIslamic centers in different parts of the United States. Mostimportantly, the sluggishness of the government in addressing themenace of hate crime that targets Arab Americans has discouraged thetargeted population from reporting incidents of hatred attacks.


Audi,G. (2008). Challenges facing the Arab American community from a legalperspective. AmericanStudies Journal.Retrieved April 28, 2015, from

Garamendi,J. (2015). After 3 years and tragic massacre in Wisconsin, housemembers, advocates welcome federal system to help stop hate crimesagainst Sikh, Hindu, and Arab American communities. UnitedStates Representative.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from

Katz,M. &amp Perez-Pena, R. (2015). In capital hill shooting of threeMuslims, a question of motive. TheNew York Times.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from

Murphy,C. (2015). FBI to track hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu, andArab-Americans. ColorLines.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from


Race-baseddiscrimination against Arab Americans

Arabsfrom the Middle East have been immigrating into the United States formore than a hundred years. However, there has always been a need toaccommodate, clarify, and reexamine the status of Arab Americansliving in the United States. This is because the critical issues thatthe Arab communities face in the United States are integral part ofthe major discourse on hyphenated U.S and ethnic identity (Audi,2008). The fact that the majority of non-Arab Americans do notconsider the Arab immigrants (including those who were born in theUnited States) as part of the American community has increased thediscrimination against Arabs in many aspects. Although the federalgovernments as well as different state governments have laws thatcriminalize discrimination of individuals on the basis of theirsocial characteristics, little have been done to curb thediscrimination against the Arab Americans in schools, transportsector, and border crossings.

AmericanArabs value the quality of education that they get in Americacompared to the quality of the education system of the Middle Easterncountries. However, the discrimination that they face in the Americanschools is a major factor that hinders their capacity to pursue theiracademic goals like other racial groups. Studies have confirmed thatArab Americans face more difficulties in finding university andcollege scholarships than other racial groups (Kuruvilla, 2015). Eventhe few who get these academic opportunities face other forms ofdiscrimination during their academic life. For example, most of theArab Americans are Muslims, but they are the only group that isdenied the right to practice religion without limitations. Forexample, Arab Americans were forced to go through the Supreme Courtfor their students to be allowed to wear a religious clothing (Hijab)in the American schools (Moftah, 2015). This confirms that ArabAmericans are not given the right to equal rights as the rest of theracial group.

TheArab American community has been facing a lot of discrimination whencrossing borders and accessing ports of entry into and out of theUnited States. Studies have shown that Arab Americans and Muslims aresubjected to additional screening and frisking at border crossingsand airports (Moftah, 2015). Although the law enforcement agencieshave the responsibility of containing the movement of weapons of massdestruction and terrorists, the act of subjecting Arab Americans toadditional search is discriminating in nature. Apart from additionalsearch and frisking, Arab Americans are at a higher risk of arbitrarydetentions and suspicion-less search as compared to other minoritygroups. Decisions to conduct an additional search and detain ArabAmericans are based on religious and racial differences. Securityagents classify Arab Americans as a major threat to the homelandsecurity. Moreover, both the state and federal agencies performdiscriminatory surveillance of different activities of ArabAmericans.

Inconclusion, trends indicate that discrimination against ArabAmericans has been increasing with time in spite of the availabilityof laws formulated to enhance equality in the United States.Discrimination against Arab Americans is apparent at the bordercrossings, in the education sector, and airports. In most cases, ArabAmericans are labeled as potential terrorists of sympathizers ofterror groups. This results in through frisking and screening of ArabAmericans more than individuals from other racial groups. Althoughthe extra screening is intended to enhance the national security, itcan be considered as discriminatory.


Audi,G. (2008). Challenges facing the Arab American community from a legalperspective. AmericanStudies Journal.Retrieved April 28, 2015, from

Kuruvilla,C. (2015). Muslim mom to woman who harassed on a Delta flight: Iforgive you. TheHuffington Post.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from

Moftah,L. (2015). Supreme court Hijab discrimination case seen as crucialmilestone by Muslim American women. InternationalBusiness Time.Retrieved May 2, 2015, from