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Marriott refuses to cancel anti-Muslim group conference

Civil rights groups have urged the hotelier to cancel the ACT for America gathering four miles from the White House

Marriott says it will not cancel a conference by an anti-Muslim hate group.

ACT for America is set to host its annual conference on October 2-3 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, four miles from the White House.

Civil rights groups have urged the hotelier to cancel the conference. It is not clear how many people are due to attend the conference, but ACT for America claims to have 750,000 members and 1,000 volunteer groups.

“We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space,” a Marriott spokesman said in an email. “Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual.”

Advocacy organisation the Southern Poverty Law Center classes ACT for America as an anti-Muslim hate group. Civil rights group Muslim Advocates sent a letter to Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson on September 11 asking him to reconsider the company’s stance on the event.

The letter said: “Marriott clearly and proudly states on its website that ‘diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our core values and strategic business goals’. We believe that hosting this anti-Muslim convention is antithetical to this otherwise clear commitment.”

In April, Sorenson spoke out against President Trump’s travel ban
targeting largely Muslim countries, calling it “not good, period”.

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