Lifestyle & Belief

Anti-sharia conference finds new home, loses key speaker

Organizers of an anti-sharia conference found a new home for the event after a Nashville hotel canceled its contract last week out of fear it would attract protests and affect business, The Tennessean reports.

The conference called “The Constitution or Sharia: A Freedom Conference” was moved to a Tennessee church after the Hutton Hotel decided not to host the event after receiving several complaints.

The Sharia Awareness Action Network, a conservative group that claims sharia law poses a threat to America, organizes the national conference. Sharia law is the moral and religious rules of Islam.

The move prompted the November 11 conference’s headlining speaker Pamela Geller, blogger and co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, to pull out of the event because it was no longer being held at a secular venue.

"“While I have nothing against speaking in a church per se, I refuse to have my message driven from the public square,” she wrote in an email to The Tennessean. "I am not going to consent to the attempts of the left and Islamic supremacists to drive our defense of freedom from public spaces." Geller’s anti-Islam stance has been labeled extremist by the media.

Conference organizers have called the hotel’s move as an attempt to stifle free speech and discriminatory. The Sharia Awareness Action Network called its members to boycott hotels owned by the Hutton Hotel’s parent company on its website.