Marriott refuses to cancel conference booking by anti-Muslim hate group

The conference's professed aim is to discuss fighting the 'leftist Islamic coalition'

Molly Fleming
Saturday 23 September 2017 11:50 BST
The Marriott hotel refuses to cancel an anti-Muslim hate groups conference
The Marriott hotel refuses to cancel an anti-Muslim hate groups conference

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The Marriot hotel group are refusing to cancel an event organised by one of the largest anti-Muslim groups in America.

ACT for America was launched as a response to the 9/11 attacks and it has been accused of existing “to advance anti-Muslim legislation and spread hate speech,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The group, which claims to have 750,000 members and 1,000 volunteer groups, is holding its national two-day conference on 2 October in Arlington, Virginia, at the Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel.

Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organisation, penned a letter to the Marriott CEO on 11 September urging him to cancel.

In it, the group reminded Mr Sorenson that the Marriott “proudly states on its website that ‘diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our core values'" and the hotel group's history of standing up for minorities.

"We especially applaud Marriott’s 2010 decision to cancel an agreement to host a white nationalist conference at your Dulles property and ask you to look to this precedent as a basis for cancelling the ACT for America conference."

ACT for America’s president and founder Brigitte Gabriel has described the ACTCON2017 event as an opportunity to plan how to fight the “leftist Islamic coalition" in a promotional video.

Described by New York Times Magazine as a “radical Islamophobe”, Ms Gabriel has been spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric since she founded ACT in 2007.

She has said that a “practising Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Quran, cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States.”

More recently in 2015, she told the right-wing American news outlet Breitbart News: “Europe will no longer be Europe by 2050. Europe has already become Eurabia. Europe is Eurabia right now."

Over this summer ACT organised a series of "March Against Sharia" events around the USA which were reportedly attended by neo-Nazis.

The company has yet to respond to the letter but a spokesperson told the Huffington Post: “We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space. Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual.”

The Independent has contacted the Marriott Hotel group to comment.

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