That was the response from William Murray, the chairman of a major anti-Muslim conference, after Hutton Hotels’ parent company cancelled its hosting contract for next month’s event in Tennessee. The “Preserving Freedom Conference” had been shaping up to be a veritable who’s-who among anti-Sharia leaders, including Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Gellar, Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney, and former Republican Congressman Fred Grandy.
According to The Tennessean, the hotel cancelled its contract after learning more about the conference’s agenda. It’s unclear whether the event organizers will be able to secure another location:
Hutton Hotels’ parent company has confirmed it won’t host the Nov. 11 Preserving Freedom conference, which was slated to include some of the nation’s leading opponent of Sharia law.
Steve Eckley, senior vice president of hotels for Amerimar Enterprises, said he wasn’t fully aware of the topic or the people involved when he booked the event in Nashville, and now he fears that resulting protests could turn violent. As well, the hotel’s other clients that day expressed concerns.
You can thank Hutton Hotel here.
Tennessee has been at the epicenter of the Islamophobia movement for some time. A proposed addition to an already-existing mosque in Murfreesboro has sparked an uproar among those suspicious of Muslims. Last year, someone poured flammable liquid on the construction site in an apparent arson attempt. More recently, leading GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain visited Murfreesboro in July and declared, incorrectly, that communities had the right to ban mosques if they so wished.
This is the second time in as many weeks that hotels have cancelled contracts rather than host anti-Muslim activists. Last week, the Hyatt Place hotel in Sugar Land, Texas cancelled a local Tea Party meeting after learning that one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes, Pam Geller, would be headlining the event.
For more information on Geller, Gaffney, and other leading anti-Muslim activists, read the Center for American Progress’ report, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”
In a press release Tuesday, Murray said, “Today the concept of free speech took yet another blow as radical Islamists celebrated their use of threats to stop a conference of free people holding open discussions. Who will the Islamists shut up next?” Murray went to accuse the hotel of being “joined at the hip with Sharia” because a London hotel owned by the same parent company has hosted conferences on Sharia-compliant finances in the past.