Friday News Roundup: Discrimination on the Rise

But first, a quick follow-up: In mid-December, we wrote about a global Pew study on restrictions on religious freedom. This week,  the Pew Forum held a roundtable discussing  it, and the transcript is now available. They review the methodology and findings, and fit a few laughs in a long the way. Read it here.

And now, the week’s top stories:

Among this week’s bigger stories was the release of 2009 EEOC statistics on claims of workplace discrimination.

Job discrimination is at near-record levels this year. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charges of religious discrimination rose 10% – to the second highest level in the Commission’s history – most likely due to a a growing number of immigrants and more diverse workplace. “The commission’s acting chairman, Stuart Ishimaru, said equal employment opportunity ‘remains elusive for far too many workers.'” Religion-based claims were among those on the rise, totaling nearly 3,500 in 2009.

As if to prove the point, a Florida teacher claimed religious disrimination, saying he  endured harassment for the black attire that he wore as part of his Quaker faith. The Orlando Sentinel also reports.

In other news, according to  Crimes Against Christian Organizations in the United States, a study published by the Christian Security Network, there were over 1200 crimes against Christian churches and ministries this year. It’s the first report of its kind and shows that even in  country where the majority of the population is Christian, anti-Christian discrimination exists. Christian News Wire also reports on some of this year’s instances of violence against Christians.

Over the summer, we wrote on French President Sarkozy’s movement to ban burqas in public. It’s back in the news this week. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a pharmacy school amended its policy banning face coverings to allow for religious headcoverings after protests from Muslim students.

We’ll keep working to try and roll the discrimination claims back, and I’ll be back with more news and views next week. Enjoy the weekend!