Workplace Bias Against Muslims, Arabs on Rise, Advocates Say

October 3, 2006

Author: Alana Semuels

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,3563037.story

A tally of complaints jumped in 2005. Some victims may fear reporting to authorities.

The restaurant manager from Morocco, the Armenian caterer from Syria and the Yemeni sailor aren't all Muslims and hail from different homelands. But all three say they suffered discrimination at work after Sept. 11, 2001, because of their national origin or perceptions that they were Muslim.

Now, they are among those who have filed lawsuits through the California offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — reflecting increasing discrimination against people of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, according to advocacy groups.

"I did not think this would happen when I came here," said Abdellatif Hadji, who moved from Morocco to the United States in 1989 and recently filed an EEOC suit against a Mendocino County restaurant where he was a manager. "America is the land of opportunity."