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.