Muslim waiter at US hotel told not to reveal name

May 1st, 2011 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 1 (IANS) A Muslim waiter at a New York hotel has said he was told to work under a fake name so that guests would not be scared over his Islamic identity, a media report said.

Moroccan-born Mohamed Kotbi, who works at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, said he was forced to wear a name badge with “Edgar” written on it, the Daily Mail reported.

Kotbi, who has worked for the hotel since December 1984, is now suing it for religious and racial discrimination. The hotel has declined to comment.

The waiter said that after the 9/11 attack, he was first asked to change his name badge to one that said “John”.

“I put it on. I was in shock,” the waiter told the New York Post.

When Kotbi complained to the hotel management, he was reportedly told: “We don’t want to scare our guests.”

He filed discrimination lawsuits with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2005 and 2009, and was given a name tag with his own surname on it.

But in November last year, he was reportedly given a name badge that said “Edgar”.

“It’s better to be Edgar than Mohamed today,” he was told.

Kotbi has accused the hotel of creating a “hostile work environment”.

He also alleged in court documents that he was repeatedly called “terrorist” and “Al Qaeda boy”.

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