Is it ok for a muslim girl developer to work abroad?

Hi :slightly_smiling_face:,
That’s been 3 years working as a Java developer, and now I just need to advance my career and get new experiences especially that I do love my job and love programming; so I did start thinking to look for a job in Europe since the thech industry is quite advanced there, but I got that feeling that it won’t be easy especially that I do wear veil and I also don’t shake hands with men (it’s for religious reasons that I do not shake hands and my intention is not to disrespect anyone).
I really need advice from you guys; should I keep looking and I will end up finding a job with people that accept me as I am ?

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hey @SouGrati I’m muslim myself so I feel you and just letting u know that in Europe there is a lot of islamophobia especially if you’re arab. It will be very hard to find a job since u wear hijab, and even if you get a job there will be a lot of discrimination done. However in Canada were I live the level of islamophobia is waaaay lower compared to the US and Europe. So if i were u I would do my research and then make my final decision

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Is it possible to just take off veil and wear clothes as other people in Europe?
I think not shaking hands will be acceptable. Honestly I don’t give a f**k what is your religion as long as you don’t do bad things.


Why not look for remote positions in the states or something like that? Seattle based companies will be extremely welcoming with anyone from my experience. The biggest issue is the president but there’s only 3 more years of that.

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Is it the kind of veil where only eyes are visible? I can’t imagine anyone in office space being comfortable working with someone wearing that.

If at least your face is visible, I think you might have a chance though the search may be still harder than usual .

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Hi there,

A hijab or something similar should be completely fine. I’ve lived in both Southern and Northern California and every now and then see women in hijabs as citizens, classmates, etc. As long as it’s not like a burka with a fully covered face, you should be fine. In the major cities of the United States (i.e. where you would be interested in working), people would even admire and respect your devotion to your religious practice.

Don’t let our awful president deter you. Trump’s popularity generally comes from middle America where it is much more white, rural, conservative etc. In major urban areas, that is, where you would get a tech job, people are multicultural and accepting and Trump is viewed as a joke.

However, not shaking hands with men would likely be a problem. It might make things difficult to be a good cultural fit for the company because it would likely make things very awkward. Shaking hands is a very common thing in the United States, especially in the professional world when you meet new people. Even if people knew your decision is for religious reasons, they would still feel awkward and uncomfortable, even if they wholeheartedly accepted all religious/ethnic/etc. backgrounds. It would cause problems: if you told your interviewer (likely a man) that you couldn’t shake hands with him he would probably look for another person with a better cultural fit for the company, even if he himself were progressive and accepting.

If you want to work in the U.S. at an on-site position, you will likely need to bend your rule of not shaking hands. If that is impossible, you may consider applying to remote positions.


Note from a moderator. Let’s not get off topic. This article is about a person getting a job not terrorism/violence and which groups do what. There are people of all religions who are both good and bad. To fully group one group as one thing or all Muslims as terrorists is not fair or appropriate.


@John-freeCodeCamp @CliveBarker I went ahead and hid both posts as several flags for off-topic kept coming in.


@IsaacAbrahamson Thanks a lot for clarifying :slight_smile: , that’s true

@sgoldber61 Thanks a lot for the advice :slight_smile: , I agree with you and by the way not shaking hands is not so much acceptable even in my muslim country :confused: but by getting closer to my colleagues (small talks and making effort to get knowing them) they start to accept this and even respect my devotion as you said. So I think if I do the same with much more effort it can work especially that my work is 90% behind computer screen.
I will also start looking for remote positions, if I can’t find a job :slight_smile:

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Hi @nigel, yeah it’s harder even if I do wear normal veil which is my case. thanks for your reply

Hi @KrisB1022 :slight_smile: thanks for your reply. I do think that remote positions are harder especially that I’m still junior developer, that’s why I did choose to find a job and get more experience before looking for a remote job (maybe my point of view is wrong, so please feel free to correct if I did think wrong about remote position)

Hi @LawGaming, thanks for the advice :slight_smile: I did think to look for jobs in Netherlands at first but I can start looking also in Canada, my aim is to develop my skills and push myself to the limits and to do so I need take risks and sacrifice my comfort zone. I will make more research before taking my final decision :wink:

Sou, when you say veil I believe you talking about a Niqab? (actual covering of face right?)

If that is the case you may find it challenging even in Canada to find a position.

Though discrimination here based on you wearing it would be frowned upon, I think you will face it. There simply is not as many people wearing the full veil in Canada, where hijab is very widespread and I doubt you would face discrimination.

Sorry if this is not encouraging.

@mtarasoff thanks for your reply, actually I don’t cover my face, just normal Hijab and my clothes are very common

Hi @SouGrati,

I am a muslim girl living in the US in the northeast area and I do wear a hijab(cover my head). I’ve worked in tech jobs for years and have never been discriminated. As @sgoldber61 mentioned, people in urban areas are very accepting, so I think it is totally possible for you to work abroad with a hijab on.

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It was for the best, I was about to delete my reply since this argument is so prevalent that you can find it everywhere on the internet, no need to repeat it yet again here. Thanks

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I have nothing against you or John. What you both said had truth, but topics like this can easily get out of hand unless kept on topic.

Hi @jfareed7770, thanks for your encouragement :slight_smile: but I would like to know if not shaking hands also can be acceptable ?

Interestingly, I think middle America would be much more tolerant towards not shaking hands, though. Rural people are used to having a lot of space between them and understand people not wanting to shake hands. At least that has been my experience. I have a handicapped hand (the handicap does not interfere with shaking hands, since many people don’t even notice it) and I don’t like to shake hands.
I suppose that is really beside the point, since it’s quite hard to find a developer job in a rural setting. :laughing:

Hi SouGrati,

I saw this post and it piqued my curiosity. I don’t work in tech yet so I don’t have any idea what the environment is like here or in Europe. I do work in management and I am frequently interacting with HR and my wife used to work in HR.

I just wanted to chime in about the not shaking hands. While people made some great points about your interviewer possibly being put off by that, that would absolutely be acceptable from a HR perspective. There is absolutely no way that your job description would require it from you! So I highly doubt that officially there would be any concerns about it and it would really come down to who you interview with and their feelings on the matter.
-Good Luck!