A local security manager was suspended from work after he replied to a Muslim job applicant's e-mail with the word "terrorist."
Ali Matallah, 32, said the experience has ruined his desire to look for employment as a security guard.
"I feel like if I look in another place, it might happen again," said Matallah, a native of Morocco living in Tampa.
Matallah earned his security guard certification two months ago and began looking for a job online through Craigslist. He responded to an ad posted by St. Moritz Security Services Inc., a Pittsburgh company that has an office in Tampa.
"I believe I would be a perfect fit for this position, as I have experience working for a few hotels," Matallah wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 11. "I have an outgoing, customer-oriented personality and am always ready to help."
He highlighted his fluency in English, French and Arabic and attached a resume.
Less than 20 minutes later, St. Moritz regional operations manager Robert J. Massimino responded.
"Terrorist," is all his e-mail said. It wasn't addressed to anyone. It wasn't signed.
Matallah contacted the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which launched an investigation. . .
Ahmed Bedier, head of CAIR's Tampa chapter, said his office received more than 100 calls last year about anti-Muslim incidents. Most, he said, were employment discrimination cases.
"But rarely do we get such a smoking gun where the writing is on the wall, where you have clear evidence that an executive puts down their words in writing," Bedier said.