CAIR: D.C. Hotel Uses ‘National Security’ Defense in Muslim Bias Suit

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/29/11) –- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today termed “unprecedented” a claim by a Washington, D.C., hotel that it had the right to discriminate against a Muslim employee because of a “national security exemption.”

In a motion filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel said the Muslim employee’s discrimination lawsuit should be rejected by the court because the hotel “was following a mandate from the federal government regarding a matter of national security.”

The hotel’s motion blames its discriminatory actions on security requirements allegedly imposed by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

“It is chilling to see the Mandarin Hotel — a private company — claim that national security concerns shield its discriminatory conduct from the law,” said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “We are confident the court will reject this unprecedented claim.”

Abbas said CAIR’s suit on behalf of the Muslim employee alleged that in December 2010, the American citizen of Moroccan heritage was forbidden to go to the 8th or 9th floors of the hotel because an Israeli delegation was staying there.