Christians have long complained that leftist-dominated Hollywood is more likely to criticize their faith for its adherence to biblical values than radical Islam, which has a documented history of enforcing its beliefs through violence and intimidation. The widespread boycott of a landmark hotel near Tinseltown, however, indicates some in the city are willing to speak out against humanitarian abuses within the Muslim religion.
Including stars like Jay Leno, reports Tuesday indicate that protesters are gathered in front of the famous Beverly Hills Hotel based on the recent actions of its owner, Hossanal Bolkiah.
— Conan Nolan (@conanNBCLA) May 5, 2014
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) May 3, 2014
In his capacity as the sultan of Brunei, Bolkiah recently subjected the nation to Sharia law. As a result, a number of events traditionally held at the hotel have since been cancelled. Tuesday’s demonstration was reportedly coordinated by the Feminist Majority Foundation, which itself called off a planned event at the destination.
One group, Teen Line, joined the protest despite having reserved the location for a Wednesday event. The last-minute cancellation means the organization lost the $60,000 down payment for the venue.
Other larger events – such as the Night Before the Oscars party hosted by the National Picture and Television Funds each year – have also decided to move elsewhere, resulting in big losses in revenue and a hit to the reputation of the historic hotel.
Another event, the Women in Entertainment breakfast, has been hosted by The Hollywood Reporter at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the past 20 years. Janice Min, whose company publishes the celebrity gossip rag, explained the decision to cancel:
“The recent despicable decisions by the Sultan of Brunei make it impossible for us to consider moving forward in any way with any hotel that is part of the [Bolkiah-owned] Dorchester Collection,” she explained.
Furthermore, the Beverly Hills City Council is taking a stance against the current ownership by calling on Brunei to cede its stake in the hotel.
As for the investment group, Dorchester Collection’s chief executive said he feels the protest is aimed at the wrong target.
“We believe this boycott should not be directed at our hotels and dedicated employees,” Christopher Cowdray said, concluding our “global economy needs to be placed in a broader perspective.”
For his part, Bolkiah feels his decision to subject the nation to draconian Islamic law is a “great achievement,” explaining the decision “is not for fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran.”
Whatever the methods used to express their outrage, many anti-Sharia activists are celebrating Hollywood’s clear stance against the latest imposition of the Islamic doctrine.
Photo credit: Flat Yamaha Team (Flickr)