Marriott unmoved by pressure to boot anti-Islam group

The Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
The Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

Civil rights group Muslim Advocates has pushed Marriott International to bar anti-Islam organization Act for America from holding a conference at its hotels, but Marriott indicated it won't do so.

Act for America is scheduled to hold its conference, ACTCON 2017, on Oct. 2 and 3 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Saying there "should be no room for hate at Marriott hotels," Muslim Advocates has pressured Marriott to force out Act for America. However, Marriott indicated the event will be held as planned.

"We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space," said a Marriott spokesperson. "Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual."

Muslim Advocates calls Act for America a "hate group." Act for America describes itself as an advocacy group that "stands for the protection of the United States of America and the Western values upon which our nation was built."

Act for America, which claims to have 750,000 members, touts its conference as "the nation's largest national security-focused grassroots gathering." The conference theme is "United Against Terror."

Muslim Advocates said it previously sent a letter to Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson urging him to cancel the Crystal Gateway Marriott's commitment to host the convention. The group suggested Marriott was hypocritical for doing business with an anti-Islam group while "trumpeting its commitment to dignity for all people" in its "Golden Rule" TV ad campaign.

Scott Simpson, Muslim Advocates' public advocacy director, said, "Hosting the nation's largest anti-Muslim gathering ... is clearly incompatible with the values of our nation, of Marriott's customers, and of Marriott's own stated commitment to inclusion."


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