Hotel Shangri-La discriminated against Jews, jury rules

Hotel_Shangri_La_Exterior.jpgThe Santa Monica jury found that the Art Deco hotel on Ocean Avenue and its Muslim owner violated the rights of attendees at a Jewish gathering two years ago. Guests at a party of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces said they were barred from using the pool and displaying literature, and they accused the hotel owner of using slurs. The jury awarded $1.2 million in damages, with more possibly to come.

From the LA Times:

Soon after their party got underway around the pool, hotel staff and security guards began telling group members to remove their literature and banners, to get out of the pool and hot tub, and to stop handing out T-shirts, according to legal documents and testimony.

The employees said they were following the orders of Tehmina Adaya, the hotel owner — a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent.

During the trial in Superior Court in Santa Monica, which began July 23, Adaya denied that she had violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars hotels and other businesses from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color or religion.

She emphatically denied that she had ordered the group to halt the event for fear that her family would cut off her financing. Adaya inherited control of the hotel from her father, Ahmad Adaya, a real estate tycoon and philanthropist who died in 2006.

Stories also in the New York Times and at the Jewish Journal.

Photo: Jewish Journal

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