Muslim women in Australia are being denied employment, with some claiming they were denied because of their religion.
Some of the claims came to light when The Hindu published an article on Friday, claiming to be an anonymous source in the Muslim community.
It said the Muslim women had received an email on Thursday that said they were no longer considered Muslim.
The email said: The following individuals are no longer Muslim and therefore you are not eligible for employment in the Australian Government as a result of your faith.
This has been verified and we have not received a reply.
The Muslim women have since received a response from the Department of Human Services saying they were not Muslim and they were told they were under a hardship decision.
The response said that, because of the Muslim faith, the woman was under the care of a local community group, but the group could not provide assistance.
Muslim women in the country are entitled to a passport and visas, but those who wear the veil are denied.
In its response to The Hindu, the Department Of Human Services said the women had been advised that the hardship decision was based on the Muslim religion and had not applied to the immigration department for an exemption.
A spokesperson for the department said: In the context of an individual’s religion, the person is considered to be a Muslim by the State Government and will not be subject to the hardship order.
However, they were still not satisfied with the advice, the spokesperson said.
The department’s spokesperson added that there was no official definition of ‘Muslim’.
The Hindu article quoted the Muslim leader Asad Umar as saying the decision was discriminatory and it was “unfair” for the Muslim woman to be denied a visa because of her faith.