Last week, media reports announced that Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) was scheduled to speak at a conference, hosted by Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum think tank, looking at how “Islamist lawfare” is threatening free speech in America. However, Specter has now pulled out of today’s conference. ThinkProgress spoke to one of the senator’s staffers, who cited a “scheduling conflict.” “We canceled this event last week, Tuesday or Wednesday.” (The Council on American-Islamic Relations notes that as recently as yesterday, Specter was still listed as a speaker in media schedules for the event, although he is not listed on the materials at the conference today.) The Specter staffer also told us that the cancellation had nothing to do with the controversy over Specter’s participation.
The Wonk Room’s Matt Duss attended the conference and has a write-up here.