Monday, 1 June 2009

US hotel pulls out of hosting Wilders-starring conference

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Here's an interesting piece of news from the States, discovered strangely enough, via a website named Taiwan News (although it does appear to have come from AP). The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee pulled out of hosting a conference on "Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America" this past weekend due to security fears. The conference was due to be held by right-wing US journal New English Review, with the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders appearing as the star guest, alongside a selection of US opponents of Islam (you can see the full event programme online, which should give you an idea of event's political leanings – it's unlikely Wilders will have felt out of place).

It seems that concerns over security prompted the hotel to cancel the event, with manager Tom Negri telling local newspaper The Tennessean
"We canceled the group for both the safety and the health of our guests and employees here at Vanderbilt hotel", while choosing not to elaborate any further. The journal's editor, Rebecca Bynum, has hit back at the hotel, saying "We find it interesting that even without a specific threat that the fear of violence is so great that they would decide to cancel our event." Meanwhile, a message appeared on the online conference programme stating:
New English Review's first annual symposium, “Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America," will be held at an secure, undisclosed location. Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel succumbed to intimidation and cancelled hosting our event. Nothing else has changed.
The event went ahead over the weekend.

2 comments:

asquith said...

What a cowardly & disgraceful performance, & I speak as a solid critic of Wilders' views. He seems to me a very authoritarian person & some of his "policies" are quite hair-raising.

http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/05/06/geert-wilders-great-plan-to-save-the-west/

But the best way is, of course, to let him speak his mind & point out why we disagree rather than caving in to the jihadists who are just the same thing.

It is true that free speech is for views we find objectionable or it can't be called free speech at all.

SES said...

"New English Review's first annual symposium, “Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America," will be held at an secure, undisclosed location."

It was held at Dick Cheney's place?