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A Pilot Assessment of How Muslim Scientists Perceive Inclusion in the Scientific Workplace

In: Sociology of Islam
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Abstract

Much of the social science literature on how religious and scientific communities relate to one another is focused on the relationship Christian communities have to science in the US and to a lesser extent the UK. Our pilot research begins to address this gap by studying Muslim scientists, a key group of actors who are important to understanding the social implications of global discussions about religion and science. We ask: How do Muslim scientists in non-Muslim majority national contexts perceive the relationship between religion and science and the connection between their faith and their work? In this pilot study, we analyze 13 in-depth interviews with Muslim scientists from three non-Muslim majority national contexts—France, India, and the United Kingdom. We find that Muslim scientists in our sample generally view their faith as compatible with their identities as scientists. Despite this connection, Muslim scientists do not consider the scientific workplace to be a supportive environment for their faith expression and believe the visibility of Muslim identity creates the potential for religious discrimination in science. Initial findings contribute to our understanding of how national context shapes religious experiences and highlights potential challenges to facilitating more religiously plural workplace environments.

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