Author Pamela Geller
The temperature is rising in the dispute that erupted earlier this week when the Hyatt hotel in Sugar Land, Texas, abruptly canceled a tea-party event at which author and Atlas Shrugs founder Pamela Geller was scheduled to speak on the dangers of Islam.
Geller has blogged about it (“The quisling cowards at the Hyatt Place Sugar Land caved to intimidation”), the story has spread to European media outlets (the Daily Mail of London) and a wave of emails and telephone calls has been getting the chain’s attention.
Now the company has contacted reporters with a statement that claims an apology has been issued, but Geller says the apology wasn’t delivered to her yet. The company didn’t respond to a query from WND about to whom the apology was delivered.
The argument is over the hotel chain’s decision that because of “security” issues it would not allow the tea party-linked event at which Geller was scheduled to speak Tuesday night to be held on its premises.
The “security” issues reportedly were telephone calls made by Muslim interests who opposed Geller’s right to speak about her concerns regarding the advance of Islam, and specifically its Shariah religious law, inside the United States, she reported.
Geller likened the hotel’s cancellation to the enforcing of “blasphemy” laws under Islamic Shariah, because she was prevented from expressing a negative opinion about the advance of Islam. In nations under Islamic rule, criticism of Islam is banned and sometimes is a death-penalty offense.
Geller, however, argues she has a free-speech right under the U.S. Constitution to express her opinion about the religion in America.
The hotel chain said in an initial statement that it was a “business” decision. Shortly, it expanded that to say, “In light of the business disruptions anticipated with this event, it has been moved to an alternate location. The hotel thanks the organizers of the event for their cooperation in relocating the event.”
Hours later that statement was expanded to:
Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land respects the various opinions expressed by our guests and visitors. In this particular situation, the changing security needs required for the safety of our guests and others on the hotel property and to avoid business disruption prompted us to ask the organizers to move it to an alternate location. We are pleased that the organizers were able to identify a venue better equipped to provide services to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved with the event.
In a statement issued by Hyatt today, the chain moved even further backward:
We’ve received several comments about the event that was recently relocated from Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land. In a recent phone conversation with the event organizer, we apologized for not working hard enough with the group to address concerns about potential business disruptions the way we should have to find a resolution. Hyatt respects the diversity of opinions expressed by guests and visitors at our hotels, and we do not make business decisions based on a guest’s or a group’s political or religious views. This group, like all guests or groups, is welcome at Hyatt hotels, and we would work closely with them in an effort to address any concerns that may arise with future events.
Not good enough, and not even logical, Geller told WND.
She cited a 2008 visit by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a Hyatt in New York in which thousands of people protested his presence. Yet, his visit was not canceled because of a “business” decision.
The Sugar Land decision was based on a handful of telephone calls to the hotel expressing opposition, according to her reports.
In a new column today on the issue, she said, “The Hyatt’s cancellation, and the reaction of freedom lovers to it, best illustrates why I wrote my book “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance:” to show what Islamic supremacists are doing in America today, and how we must fight back.”
She explained that her speech had been scheduled at the Hyatt by the Sugar Land Tea Party, “But Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) thugs intimidated the hotel where the event was scheduled to take place, Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land, into canceling the event altogether.”
Organizers then scrambled to find another venue on virtually no notice, she said.
“The cowards and dhimmis at Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land received a couple of threatening calls and they surrendered to Islamic supremacists without even firing a shot,” she said today.
“The Hyatt doesn’t really respect ‘various opinions’ at all,” she continued. “Mind you, where does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stay and entertain his murderous comrades when he comes to New York? The Hyatt. And remember also that billionaire Penny Pritzker owns the Hyatt, and was also the national finance chair for Barack Obama when he ran for president in 2008.
“The quisling cowards at the Hyatt Place Sugar Land caved to intimidation, but that didn’t stop freedom lovers from coming to hear me speak. The event was held at the Sugar Land Community Center, and the house was packed. Hundreds came out to hear what the Shariah forbids: the truth. It was an amazing evening.”
In her column, Bill Moore, the Sugar Land Tea Party president, was quoted saying the cancellation appeared to be evidence of “our freedom of speech being oppressed.”
“So many know so little – this is the priority. The last thing the enemy wants is an informed public. That is the key,” Geller said.
Robert Spencer at JihadWatch.org wrote earlier that Hamas-linked CAIR “and other Islamic supremacist groups are conducting an ongoing campaign to discredit and marginalize everyone who dares to stand up against the jihad and Islamic supremacism.”
“Central to this campaign is pressure against any organization or venue that dares to host a freedom fighter – hence Hamas-linked CAIR’s efforts to intimidate the FBI and the military into dropping invitations to me and other counter-jihadists, and its pressure on universities and private groups that host events featuring pro-freedom activists,” Spencer said.
“Hamas-linked CAIR and its Islamic supremacist and Leftist allies are open enemies of the freedom of speech, and they’re relentless in bringing pressure on any individual, group or venue that dares to step out of the political correct dhimmi lockstep. … Wherever they succeed in intimidating a group or venue into dropping a talk by a freedom fighter, we have to bring just as much pressure to bear for the cause of justice, and let that group or venue know that we do not appreciate their failure to stand up for constitutional principles when challenged,” he said.
Geller will be speaking next month at a conference in Nashville on Shariah and related issues.
Other scheduled speakers are Spencer, Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, William J. Murray of the Religious Freedom Coalition, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, Christopher Holton of Center for Security Policy, Zelenik, Andrea Lafferty of Traditional Values Coalition, James Lafferty of Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, Barrister Paul Diamond of the United Kingdom, Father Keith Roderick, Bishop Earl. W. Jackson, actor and former congressman Fred Grandy and Wafa Sultan.
The opposition to Geller’s address is not the first time revelations about CAIR and Shariah have been targeted by Islamic activists. The authors of “Muslim Mafia” also have been taken to court by CAIR over the revelations it contains.
The CAIR legal attack on WND’s author is far from over. WND needs your help in supporting the defense of “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz, as well as his investigator son Chris, against CAIR’s lawsuit. The book’s revelations have led to formal congressional demands for three different federal investigations of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. Although WND has procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country for their defense, we can’t do it without your help. Please donate to WND’s Legal Defense Fund now.