Hotel That Canceled Anti-Shariah Event Warned of Legal Action

World Net Daily, October 27, 2011

A legal advocacy group has warned the management of a Nashville hotel that canceled its contract to host a conference on radical Islam that it must honor its commitment or face potential legal action.

Mat Staver of Florida-based Liberty Counsel, who also is a planned speaker for the conference, emphasized in a letter to Stephen Eckley, senior vice president of hotels for Amerimar Enterprises, that First Amendment liberties are at stake.

Eckley’s company owns the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, where the Preserving Freedom Conference was scheduled for Nov. 11, as WND reported Monday.

Eckley told WND it was his decision to cancel the Nashville event, explaining that management had received “veiled threats that there were going to be protests that could easily erupt into violence.”

In his letter, Staver told Eckley, “If you truly have received serious threats of violence in response to legitimate First Amendment expression, you have an obligation to report it to the government, not act in concert with the demands of radical Islam.

“Have you indeed informed the civil rights division of the Department of Justice of these threats?” Staver asked. “Have you turned over all information in your possession to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for you to verify and investigate? If not, why not?”

Staver contended that failure to report the threats constitutes “outright cooperation and apparent agreement with those demanding the silencing of ‘critics of Islam’ ” and could subject his company “to liability for conspiracy to commit civil rights violations, in addition to contractual liability for unjustifiable breach of contract.”

Meanwhile, as WND reported yesterday, a former Democratic state lawmaker in Maryland is pressing a hotel in Annapolis to cancel a similar event, charging in an open letter backed by Islamic groups that the speakers include “the nation’s leading Islamophobes.” In addition, WND reported last week that the Hyatt Place Hotel in Sugar Land, Texas, near Houston, canceled an anti-Shariah event after complaints reportedly by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.

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  • Sincerely Concerned

    It is very heartening to see that someone has stood up for First Amendment rights. It would be of great use to the public to find out whether, like I asked yesterday here on AR and Staver asks in his letter, Eckley has properly reported the threats. This is very important because threats of violence by a specific group toward another specific group are not to be tolerated and indeed could constitute a hate crime, though whether that slant would be pursued or prosecuted is doubtful.

    There is a growing trend for all sorts of outlets to stifle free speech now that the non-PC crowd has finally begun to speak up. Many of we AR readers and commentors have noted that stories on various online news outlets have begun disallowing comments if the story is potentially provocative. Why? Because they don’t want other voices heard. But like the Tea Party and OWS we must keep trying to be heard, all of us. It’s our right, sure, but mostly it’s our duty.

  • Anonymous

    I see little benefit to come of all of this. The upshot is that hotels will become extremely wary of any meeting or conference that could conceivably be “controversial” or “offensive” to certain touchy groups. Hotels will investigate the conference group carefully beforehand, and they will back away from making any such contract in the first place when there is any subject matter that might possibly bring about such a problem. No hotel will be willing to rent space to any controversial group for any controversial subject. Either way, you lose.

  • Anonymous

    The Muslims really are taking over the West. If this had happened even ten years ago there would be outrage , now mot much of anything

  • Anonymous

    Ref 01

    Your comments are interesting and sensible. But survival is

    more basic than merely being heard. We do well to fight when the

    odds are more favorable. The legal system is stacked largely for

    those who adroitly use it to deny rights to others and to sucker the offended parties into legal actions that further compound their problems.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    Hotels, along with storage units, are tricky business and I`ve made the vow before to find out exactly what the laws are. Have yet to do so though. In New York, the hotel tried to evict us from our room because they got out departure date wrong. Our party booked ten rooms. We were the only ones staying on for a few days after. They assumed we were leaving too and booked our room to someone else. It turned Kafkaesque. First I told the management that “Wouldn`t I know better than them” when our departure date was?!? That didn`t sway the jury. It finally got where we were under siege in our room from the manager and hotel security knocking on our door. I told my better half to not open up for anyone except me while I went across to the deli to get food twice a day. We had to live like that for three days…. I never liked New York. Especially how they keep the public at bay form buildings with “doormen”. Getting “buzzed” into a Mac Donald`s and then having to beg for a restrom key was about the final straw. Even after buying something the lady wanted to know why I had to use the restroom “twice”… Unbelieveable!

  • Anonymous

    Ref. 01,02,04

    An interesting aspect of this is the ubiquity of the liability insurance industry– no hotel being without such coverage, often

    redundantly. Outfits of lawyers perversely devoted to sabotaging

    rights of assembly and speech (and such outfits can be presumed to lie behind the “thug” threats, etc. ) are very touchy about word leaking out within a particular liability insurance company that the company has gotten beyond business and over into politics. Even moreso, local insurance agents that often broker such Hotel coverage are very skittish about getting out of bounds, as are the lawyers that advise the local agents. The more people who are put aware, the better–among lawyers within a liability insurance carrier and among agents within a locale in which a targeted Hotel is located. If receiving on the qt a few selected articles from AR, there are quite enough lawyers under the roof of an insurance carrier and quite enough local agents, to put sand in the gears of these abusers–a few might even become subscribers (using their mother-in-law’s name and address!! ).

  • Uptown

    The First Amendment is a protection against government attacks on free speech. It is legally impossible for CAIR, and its thuggish allies and agents, who are non government actors, to violate anyone’s “First Amendment rights.”

  • Anonymous

    Tim #5: Remember, a Public place to buy food, or any other type of service, also has its Restrooms available to the public, as well. They can’t have it both ways.

    If they don’t like it, tell them that you will report them to the Health Department. “It only takes a phone call to F up your Business, pal.” They get the idea that you are serious.

    You can always ask them if they would like you to water their plants in the hallway, while you wait. They will produce the Bathroom key with that one, too.

  • Herman

    A Hotel cannot refuse to rent a room to an African; that would be discrimination. Nor can it refuse to rent rooms to a group of homosexuals (you can easily add other examples). How is it possible that a hotel can refuse to rent rooms to a certain societal or political group which has the right to convene guaranteed by the US Constitution?

  • HH

    I notice WND wasn’t concenred about free speech when AR’s meeting was cancelled…various times! Only now that it is the dreaded “Moooslims” is it an issue. Look, I have no tender feeling for Muslims one way or the other, but this is rather transparent to anyone looking.