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Reference letter regarding religious volunteering?


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Hi,

This is kinda sensitive question,

I'm a PhD student, and in the hospital where I work, I have been responsible for Muslim employee affairs, arranging for Friday prayer, giving ceremony, being the representative and link between hospital HR and Muslim employees etc...I have been doing this for 4 years now,

I will have two reference letters from my Master's and PhD supervisors, and thinking of having the third from one of those Muslim employees who is involved with us, he is a physician/professor at the hospital and the university it is affiliated to, and will be happy to write me a strong letter about how I was managing this thing, arranging stuff, leading the initiative, communicating with hospital on their behalf etc...

Do you think that would be a good reference letter? to be honest I am kinda reluctant cause I don't know who will judge the letter and what his political/religious views are...

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On 8/23/2018 at 4:18 PM, ThatCanadianGuy said:

I got a youth pastor to write my letter of recommendation and it didn't stop me from getting in. I think people are generally pretty respectful about religious activities when grading your application. 

Thank you, honestly I'm concerned because it is not just any religious volunteering, it is "Muslim"...
I do know for sure that they would respect my views as a Muslim, but I'm not sure if going further to have a letter about it would be a safe idea...

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12 hours ago, heydere said:

To be honest with you, I would keep this reference as a last resort. I do think that there is hidden stigma and discrimination against Muslims, from my personal experiences, and I would be hesitant to advise you to use this reference letter. As unfortunate as that may be. 

With reluctance, I agree with heydere.

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People have a lot of opinions, and frightfully are willing to tell you what is or isn’t okay. 

 

The truth. You have no control over your file reviewers, and the reality (for all people) - we submit ourselves for review, and hope that the people reading our file resonate with our story. There is a chance you will have someone with strong implicit/explicit  bias against muslins read your file. They may rank your letter and file lower because of this. 

However, there is also a chance that it will really resonate with someone quite strongly.

 

For the simple reason that this is chance based, I would recommend choosing the letter that you’ve feel most speaks to who you are, and I would be less concerned about whether or not someone will judge you for the affiliation with the Muslim religion. 

 

By not submitting the letter you are potentially denying the file reviewers the opportunity to see your strongest attributes. That’s the only thing in your control. 

 

-MA

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