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Muslim Hotelier Guilty of Discrimination

A Muslim hotel owner in Southern California discriminated against a group of Jewish Los Angeles young adults, a jury found.

A jury in Santa Monica Superior Court on Wednesday found that Tehmina Adaya, the owner of the Hotel Shangri-La in that city, discriminated against the nonprofit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

On July 11, Adaya abruptly ended a pool party that had been approved by members of the hotel’s management in advance, ordering that all informational brochures and the group’s banner be removed from the premises. She allegedly yelled, “Get these [expletive] Jews out of my pool,” according to testimony.

Adaya and her hotel were found to have violated the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars hotels and businesses from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color or religion.

It was alleged during the trial that Adaya, a Pakistani-born Muslim, ordered the group to stop its event because she believed that her family would cut off her financing for allowing Jews to use the facility. Adaya inherited the hotel from her father, Ahmad Adaya, a real estate mogul and philanthropist who died in 2006.

The jury awarded the Friends of the IDF more than $1.2 million in damages. An amount for punitive damages will be determined Thursday.

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