Muslim employees of a Washington hotel alleged that they were discriminated against when Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited at the weekend, a group representing them said Wednesday.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent a protest letter to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's management on behalf of the employees who alleged they were barred from floors where the Israeli delegation was staying.
The hotel said in a statement that it complied with instructions from the State Department which had asked to check the list of employees scheduled to work while the delegation was visiting on December 10 and December 11.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley confirmed that "routine" checks were done but said there is "a lot of disinformation" surrounding the complaint from the employees.
"We do routine law enforcement background checks on all individuals who may have access to or working in the vicinity of the delegation or official that we're protecting," Crowley said.
"Where we have concerns based on these criminal record checks we may request that the hotel limits their staff access to the delegation," he added.
"But at no time do these checks include questions regarding religious or political affiliation," he said. "The State Department's diplomatic security did not bar any person form the hotel."
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