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Muslim Waiter Claims Waldorf=Astoria Forced Him To Change His Name

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The Waldorf=Astoria - New York, NY - File / Photo: AP

The Waldorf=Astoria – New York, NY – File / Photo: AP

diamond_feature Marla Diamond
I began my career at WCBS in the fall of 1997 as the station's New...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A Muslim banquet waiter claims hotel management at the Waldorf=Astoria forced him to change his name on multiple occassions.

Mohamed Kotbi, who has worked at the famous hotel since 1984, says everything was fine until Sept. 11, 2001. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Kotbi said his boss asked him to change his name tag to “John” to keep him from scaring away business. 

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond with Mohamed Kotbi


“I couldn’t believe what he just said,” Kotbi told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.

The abuse continued from co-workers who called him “al-Qaeda boy”  and “terrorist” and Kotbi claims the insults got worse after Osama bin Laden’s death.

According to Kotbi his colleagues said, “They killed your brother. Your boss is dead, now you’re all alone.”

“Everytime there is a terror attack anywhere — Afghanistan, Iraq – I won’t even come in because it just gets worse,” Kotbi said.

In a statement, the Waldorf=Astoria said it has never asked an employee to change their name and they do not tolerate discrimination.

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