Muslim group fails to convince hotel to cancel speakers

Hilton Toronto/Markham Conference Centre & Spa

TORONTO — A speaking engagement featuring U.S. anti-jihadist activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer will go ahead at a Toronto-area hotel despite efforts by a Muslim group to have the hotel “reconsider providing event space” for the talk.

The Hilton Toronto/Markham Conference Centre & Spa announced it would not rescind the booking, despite a letter from the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) – formerly the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – that called Geller and Spencer “notorious xenophobic activists.”

The letter, from NCCM executive director Ihssaan Gardee suggests failure to cancel “would negatively impact the Hilton’s reputation with Canada’s fastest-growing faith group, the one million strong Canadian Muslim community.”

The letter goes on to say “the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide” might reconsider doing business with the hotel, “as the Hilton would be seen as doing business with hatemongers and anti-Muslim extremists.”

Spencer and Geller are co-sponsors of Stop Islamization of America and the Freedom Defense Initiative. They are being brought to Toronto by the Jewish Defence League (JDL) of Canada.

Spencer, who also runs the jihadwatch website, said, “The NCCM is CAIR, which has been identified by the U.S. Department of Justice as affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. It is desperate to shut down any and all honest discussion of jihad violence and Islamic supremacism and to stigmatize all who engage in such discussion with smear charges of ‘racism’ and ‘bigotry,’ so as to intimidate people into thinking there is something wrong with resisting jihad terror. If they prevail in this, we will ultimately be rendered mute and defenceless before the advancing jihad.”

JDL leader Meir Weinstein said the hotel consulted its lawyers and the York Regional Police before rejecting the NCCM request.

“I think the hotel saw that the allegations [against Geller and Spencer] were unfounded.”

“The NCCM was trying to intimidate and silence critics of organizations sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he added.