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Room-seekers with Muslim names get fewer replies: UK study

Parstoday 2018-12-04 07:51:00

A study by the British daily The Guardian has revealed that room-seekers with Muslim names are 20 percent less likely to receive a positive or neutral response from landlords compared to applicants with a non-Muslim name.

The report, published on Monday, was done by examining responses to nearly 1,000 messages sent to online room advertisements across the UK.

The messages were sent from profiles named “Muhammad” and “David”, using similar details and backgrounds.

The report found that a room-seeker named "Muhammad" was almost ten percent more likely to not receive any response from advertisers compared to a profile named "David" (44 percent no response cases compared to 36 percent).

When Muhammad did receive a response, it was more likely a negative response compared to David (25 percent negative response cases compared to 18 percent).

The report details 23 cases where both profiles had sent messages to identical advertisers but David had received a positive or neutral reply while Muhammad had been turned down, being told that no rooms were available or that they weren't suitable for him.

The report also highlights incidents where landlords would negatively lie to Muhammad about room availability, while simultaneously inviting David to view their rooms.

For example, a landlady in Leicester had replied to Muhammad saying, “the ad says females only sorry,” while telling David, “thanks for getting in touch. Let me know when you want to view it.”

Another landlady in Aberdeen had told Muhammad that her last room had been taken while telling David that she had probably more than one room available.

There were no instances where Muhammad had received a positive response while David had received a negative one.

The study also showed numerous cases where David was invited to view a room while Muhammad was asked to provide more background information about his personality or work.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) along with numerous charities and advocacy groups have expressed concern over the study's findings.

Commenting on the report, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain Harun Khan said, “this provides yet more evidence that Islamophobia is far broader than mere anti-Muslim hatred."

Khan further cited the research as a reason for the government to create "a strategy to tackle the structural racism facing Muslims, over and above its newly updated hate crime action plan.”

The report comes as Muslims in the UK are campaigning for the government to adopt a more supportive legal classification of Islamophobia.

Muslims believe Islamophobia is also a form of racism and those involved in attacks and abuses against the Muslims should be held accountable.

Unprecedented outrage erupted among the public in Britain last week after a video emerged online showing a Syrian refugee teenager being racially abused and attacked in a school in Huddersfield, in northern England.

Police said the attacker should face charges of assault in court.