Waiter, a Naturalized Citizen, Sent Home From Work for Being Named Mohamad

December 6, 2003

Source: The Washington Post


On December 6, 2003 The Washington Post reported on an Arab American waiter in Baltimore who was sent home from work because his name is Mohamad. Mohamad I. Pharoan, 58, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was sent home from the Hyatt Regency prior to a presidential fundraiser by a manager who asked him just one question: "Is your name Mohamad?" The Post reports that Pharoan "believed he was singled out by the U.S. Secret Service or the hotel's security staff because of his ethnicity or religion... President Bush raised more than $1 million for his reelection campaign at the afternoon banquet for more than 550 people at the Hyatt Regency at the Inner Harbor. Pharoan said he arrived for work dressed in a tuxedo at 8:24 a.m., about four hours before the banquet... Hussein Ibish, a spokesman for the Washington-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, called the incident a 'disgraceful act of apparent discrimination' against 'an individual with no criminal record and a spotless employment history.' He said the incident seemed 'to be based on nothing more than having the name Mohamad.' He said the committee has asked the White House and the Secret Service for an explanation or an apology.