Marriott International has no intention of acquiescing to a demand from Muslim activists that an October convention of the ACT for America organization at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va., be canceled.
“We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space,” a Marriott spokesman told PJM. “Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual.”
“Marriott clearly and proudly states on its website that ‘diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our core values and strategic business goals,’” Muslim Advocates public advocacy director Scott Simpson wrote to Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International.
“We believe that hosting this anti-Muslim convention is antithetical to this otherwise clear commitment,” Simpson added.
Muslim Advocates is a civil rights organization that “works on the front lines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths,” according to the group’s website.
Muslim Advocates’ mission, as the group’s name would imply, is focused on three points: “counter anti-Muslim hate by challenging bigotry and hate crimes, empower communities by strengthening American Muslim charities and educating people about their legal rights, fight discrimination with high impact lawsuits against those who wrongfully target American Muslims.”
Muslim Advocates has claimed credit for convincing ACT for America to back away from “almost 70 anti-Muslim rallies it organized across the country” that were scheduled to be held Sept. 9.
“Our nation is at a pivotal turning point, where our very identity will be shaped by how we respond to the vicious waves of hate and bigotry coming at us,” saidMadihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates.
“By removing its name from any events scheduled for September 9th, after galvanizing supporters and attendees in nearly 70 cities across the country, ACT is essentially acknowledging that these types of events cause and incite violence,” Ahussain added.