Ripping The Veil Off

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 11 2011 @ 7:16pm

France began enforcing its veil ban today. In response, Henry Farrell digs up a paper (pdf) on workplace discrimination against Muslims in France:

[Claire Adida, David Laitin and Marie-Ann Valfort] suggest that employers discriminate against Muslims because of their beliefs that more Muslims in the workplace will lead to lower workplace efficiency, because of French workers' animus towards them. Occam's razor would suggest that without further direct evidence, it is simpler to assume that much of the time French employers will share the motivations of other French people – that is, that they will frequently be directly biased against Muslims themselves. Notably, this bias seems distinguishable from simple anti-black racism – the experiments find differences in how French people respond to Senegalese immigrants when they are presented as being Muslim and Christian. Obviously, this does not make this apparently irrational bias any more normatively defensible than racism simple.