They're claiming to apologize for canceling a Pamela Geller event at the behest of Hamas-linked CAIR, but no one seems to have received the apology. More on this story. "Heat gets turned up in fight over warnings about Islam: Hotel chain claims to apologize after being accused of enforcing Shariah law," by Bob Unruh for WND, October 20:
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....