Islamophobia at Its Best: Muslim Employees Banned from Hotel during Barak’s Visit
In a blatant act of prejudice, a hotel’s general manager told Muslim employees not to come in after the State Department had reported “irregularities” in routine background checks on them preceding a visit by Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. The act prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations to call for an investigation describing it as discriminatory.
Ehud Barak staying at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel was in Washington on December 10 and 11 and met with Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, among others, over the Israeli-Palestinian talks and the illegal settlement issue.
According to one supervisor at the hotel, the Israeli delegation did not want to face any Muslims.
Spokesman Philip Crowley from the State Department argued that security did not bar any person from the hotel; however, the complaints have asserted that Muslim employees were barred from floors where Barak was staying. Crowley added that it was nothing more than a routine check stressing that there was much disinformation surrounding the complaint from the employees. He maintained that law enforcement background checks on all individuals who may have access to or are working in the vicinity of the protected delegation or official were regulatory.
CAIR is currently expecting a statement from the hotel before deciding on further steps.