Here are some thoughts regarding careers for and serving Muslims and marketing to Muslims:
Sensitivity to Muslim employees' needs
- Observant Muslims pray five times a day. In many if not most situations, it seems to me reasonable for an employer to offer Muslim employers flexible hours. Of course, s/he must get as much work done as a non-Muslim employee.
- Just as employers have appropriately become more tolerant of employees that wear nose rings and tattoos, even in customer-facing positions, I believe employers should not be biased against job candidates that wear a hijab and burka (veil and modest outfit,) even in customer-facing positions. That said, as of now, it may be easier for Muslims to find professional-level work in such fields as accounting, engineering, and writing, for example, technical writing.
Attracting Muslim consumers
- Observant Muslims value sexual modesty, religiosity, and family. Advertising that reflects that will be more effective.
- Clothiers expecting to appeal to Muslim women should, in addition to hijabs and burkas, American-style dresses and skirts, but of longer length, even in the summer months.
- Consider an advertising campaign around Eid, which is a gift-giving holiday.
- Muslims are forbidden to touch alcohol or pork. Much makeup uses alcohol and pork fats. To attract Muslim consumers, vendors should sell makeup with neither.
FYI: You might ask, "Why would someone with veil-covered face care to wear makeup?" Answer: She is allowed to remove the veil at home.
Employment and Self-Employment Opportunities Serving Muslims
- Observant Muslim women will not disrobe for medical examinations and treatments if the practitioner is a man. More female health care providers are needed, especially those speaking Arabic and/or Farsi.
- Muslims eat Halal meat, in which animals are slaughtered in, let's just say a different, way. Muslims also eat more goat than do other groups. Halal meat farmers and distributors should thrive.
- Muslims are not allowed to charge interest on loans. There are workarounds. Financiers who specialize in Sukuk, bonds, where the lender takes part-ownership, should do well.
- Halal-friendly tourism: tours offering Halal food, hotels with sex-segregated pools and that do not serve alcohol, schedules that allow five prayer periods a day, include Mosque visits, etc.
- Halal personal chefs
- Islamic studies programs are burgeoning at universities. While in most fields, PhDs have trouble landing a professorship, it may be easier for PhDs in Islamic Studies.
- The CIA and related agencies seek candidates competent in one or more Middle Eastern languages and cultures.
- Muslim psychologists, especially "matrimonial counselors." While there is a growing Muslim feminist movement, most Muslim relationships are different from typical Americans'. Psychologists and other counselors who understand and respect the Muslim approach to relationships may flourish.
- Teachers in Muslim schools. Muslim schools in the U.S. are increasing.
- In business development or sales, you may want to develop a plan to tap the worldwide Arab market: 350,000,000 consumers, not just in the Middle East but in Africa, and in countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan.