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Discrimination Against Islamic Employees on the Rise

A record number of Muslim workers are complaining of religious discrimination, from co-workers calling them "terrorist" or "Osama" to employers disallowing them from wearing head scarves or taking, religiously obligated, prayer breaks.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found enough merit in some of the complaints that it has filed several lawsuits on behalf of Muslim workers. Last month, the commission sued JBS Swift, a meat packing company, on behalf of 160 Somali immigrants, saying supervisors and co-workers had cursed at them for being Muslim, thrown blood, meat and bones at them, and interrupted their prayer breaks.

Although Muslims make up less than 2 percent of the United States population, they accounted for about one-quarter of the 3,386 religious discrimination claims filed with the EEOC last year.

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