Muhammad is the most common given name in the world with more than 150 million men and boys with the name. Including Mohamed Kotbi, a waiter at the Waldorf-Astoria. The famed hotel is being sued by the former banquet waiter after he was allegedly told to wear name tags reading Edgar or John because customers would be afraid of a waiter named Mohamed.
Kotbi was first allegedly told to adopt a new name two days after September 11th. He states in his complaint that he was told “[w]e don’t want to scare our guests.”
He says that, after filing discrimination complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he was given a name tag with his last name, Kotbi. He claims, however, that he was then turned into an “Edgar” by the restaurant.
He is now suing for “hostile work environment” over the name tags. With the death of Bin Laden announced today, perhaps some perspective will be gained in looking back at our actions following September 11th. This story is one glimpse of the intense hostility faced by Muslims in this country.
He is, of course, not the first to face a backlash over his name. Below is “Edgar” Ali:
Source: New York Post
24 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Edgar: Waldorf-Astoria Sued Over Forced Name Change of Muslim Waiter”
The one that was photoshopped to be in a circle? That’s from one of the stop motion animated children’s shows about Xmas like “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” made back in the ’60’s.
What is the stop motion elf….
If you think Muhammed or Hussein is scary… consider Bush, Cheney or Blair.
Wouldn’t want to start making too much sense to anyone, but if you’re going to fear anything it’s clear that you may start with US and UK government officials.
Personally I liked the stop-motion animation elf. That Keebler one is kinda small. If I didn’t know that was a hole in a tree, I wouldn’t be able to tell what that was.
What’s wrong with this…
You have got to be kidding!
Blouise, et al….
Everybody good with this one….
Muhammad isn’t exactly an uncommon name in NYC. I’ve stayed at the Waldorf and most of it operates as a typical business hotel, albeit one with nice public areas. Their clients are unlikely to have the delicate sensibilities of their management.
I strongly second Mike Spindell’s comment regarding your mention of Mohammed Ali
How apt that you included Mohamed Ali’s picture in this post. How quickly has it become forgotten that the man who is considered a national icon and treasure was despised, harassed and punished in his career, for becoming a Muslim and opposing the Viet Nam War.
As time goes by historical pariahs oft become heroes.
I need security! All this change is giving me heart palpitations.
I second what Carol and Blouise said!
I am totally with HenMan on this one. The stupidity exhibited in this country will never cease to amaze me …
“With the death of Bin Laden announced today, perhaps some perspective will be gained in looking back at our actions following September 11th. This story is one glimpse of the intense hostility faced by Muslims in this country.” -Jonathan Turley
Perhaps a starting point would be the Patriot Act.
Not bad for a family that was not accepted in NY City Society and tore down the Brownstone built a hotel to get back at them….
“Edgar” Kotbi is a totally unbelievable name. Totally stupid. Nobody would believe that in a million years. Ridiculous.
They should have called him “J. Edgar Hoover”.
Anybody who is afraid of a waiter because his name is Mohammad should probably stay home.
Any employer who needlessly insults an employee over such a stupid reason needs to refocus his priorities.
You may wish to make it clearer that this happened this past November, and not 10 years ago.
Comments are closed.