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Nashville hotel blocks Zelenik’s anti-Sharia conference

26 October 2011 General 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Lou Ann Zelenik

Lou Ann Zelenik

MURFREESBORO — Lou Ann Zelenik started searching for a new place for “The Constitution or Sharia?: Preserving Freedom Conference” Monday after learning a Nashville hotel canceled its Nov. 11 booking.

“It’s ridiculous that they chose to silence our freedom to speak,” said Zelenik, a Murfreesboro resident who came in second in a close Republican primary in 2010 against U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin. “They canceled it because they got threats. The Islamic extremists won, as far as I’m concerned.”

A company official with oversight of Hutton Hotel contends that Zelenik is wrong.

“This has nothing to do with freedom to speak,” said Steve Eckley, a senior vice president of the management company that runs the Hutton Hotel. “This has everything to do with making sure we are protecting our employees, our guests and our property.

“We were very concerned about protests, and those protests turning ugly. Several of the calls that we received led us to believe there was going to be organized protests,” he said. “We have no issue with the organization whatsoever. But because of two of their very inflammatory speakers, we were concerned about those protests.”

Eckley confirmed that Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America was one of them and that her involvement is mentioned as a concern on the Anti-Defamation League’s website, which is dedicated to stopping the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice and fair treatment to all.

“They protect everyone,” Eckley said.

Islamic Center of Murfreesboro member Saleh Sbenaty said he thinks the hotel did the right thing.

“We as citizens support the First Amendment, whether that be freedom of religion or freedom of speech, but hate speech cannot be called freedom of speech,” said Sbenaty, a 19-year MTSU professor in the Department of Engineering Technology. “The United States does not stand for bigotry or exclusion. The United States is an open country that welcomes people of all faiths and all traditions, including the Muslim tradition.”

>> Continue reading: Nashville hotel blocks Zelenik’s anti-Sharia conference


  1. I’d like to see an example of an attempt to force “sharia” in the US!

    These people are absolutely ignorant of the FACT that established US case law and especially the First Amendment prohibit entanglement of religion and state. This is also ignorance of how laws are created and enacted in the US and other Western democratic nations.

    Sharia law is like the cannon laws of the Catholic church. They only apply to Catholic and are not attempts to force non-Catholic to accept them. Sharia law is most related to banking and interpersonal conflict.

    This is either another way to make Muslims some kind of “internal enemy” and/or an attempt to get in between a spiritual leader and his followers. This would be unconstitutional for the government to get between religious leaders and their followers. KEEP OUT OF OTHERS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS!

    Don’t post here that some “sharia laws” are used in some back place on Earth to cut people’s heads off and put women in burkas. What is happening in other countries with different historical, legal and cultural differences to the US and Western democracies have nothing to do with this phony and hateful “issue!”

  2. eslaporte,

    If Sharia law applies only to Muslims why did Muslims riot and destroy property when non-Muslims living in secular countries drew cartoons of Muhammed?If Sharia law applies only to Muslims why did Muslims riot and kill when a non-Muslim living in the United States burned a copy of the Koran that was his private property?If Sharia law applies only to Muslims why is a Christian mother of five children facing execution for comments she made about Muhammed? What business is it on any Muslim what non-Muslims do in secular countries? It appears to some people that Sharia is fascist and supremacist which is why there are free people taking a stand against it.

  3. So there we go, the hotel is scared of the protests run by Muslim groups and fear they may turn ugly. What does this say about the Hotel and their beliefs that Muslims can control themselves? Fear motivated this cancellation so is that something people on this forum is proud of? This hotel does not recognize Muslims as peaceful but identifies them as they have been portrayed in the media. Muslims opposing this conference got their way but they did it in such a way as to give the organizers of the conference credibility. Muslims can rejoice if they want to but Geller and her bunch has just spiked the ball and are doing their touchdown dance. Actions and the reasons behind them speak much louder than words.

  4. Since the comments on this section seem to be dead let me offer a suggestion if anyone reads it.

    Instead of calling the hotel and trying to get the conference cancelled or moved, contact the hotel and set up a peaceful protest. Ask the Hotel to set up another catered area for your group to eat lunch or make some food available outside in stands for the protesters or anyone else who wants to buy some(throwing some ethnic foods in there would attract people). Set up some booths and hand out literature which counters what is being said in the conference. Be very friendly to conference attendees. Make sure the hotel, the police, the city, and the protesters understand the event is going to be peaceful and that anyone getting frisky will be removed forthwith. Put yourself out there, the press will cover you and show the side of Islam you want people to see and promote. In fact you will likely get more press coverage than the event itself. Engagement is the key here not anger, with proper preparation and attitude you can successfully counter any event they have anywhere in this country and place the focus on your message while demeaning their message and making their events counterproductive.

    Or: you can take your place as a victim, complain about the unfairness of it all, and try to have these cancelled as just being mean spirited.

  5. Hera,

    The Muslim Nation is like one body, when one part of the body is hurt, the rest of the body feesl it! sorry to disapoint you! Sharia Law is just and not the supermacist type. searh and read how the jews were protected by the islamic states in Spain when they were being trcked and killed by Christians. I guess you will need to spend some time searching and not just typing here!
    Why would a sane women go out insulting any prophet peace be upon them all when she is living in a muslim land! If she really did it then she would have planned for it. When I am in America I obey the law, when you are in Saudi you obey the law so Muslims as non Muslims should not insult the prophets!
    What will happen to me if I walk into a meeting help by the KKK clan and tell them white people should leave america? I guess it would be suicidal!
    But of course I will not do that because it is non sense, it is calling for trouble! In my view anyone insulting prophet in a state where such action is an offence, then the state judges should decide on the faith of the one who commited the offence! An example, No body like paying Taxes! if we dont then what will happen? ==> PROBLEMS WITH THE LAW! so we pay then and be quite like everyone else. So people like this woman who you seem to have so much pain for her should do like the rest of the people and ZIP IT!
    I am sure there would not be so many propblems!!

  6. Great Salim, I hear on this forum all the time how Islam practiced in other countries such as the one this woman was arrested in is not how Islam should be practiced. These are nations that force their religion and beliefs on other people. You can say that is just all you want but it is not. Christians do not even agree that Mohammad was a prophet yet Sharia will penalize Christians for stating their beliefs while pretending to “tolerate” other religions. If Muslims are one body, which are your words, then are all Muslims responsible for the violence that some Muslims are perpetrating? This is why I maintain my belief in free speech: what you and others would call hate speech would lead to people like this woman being locked up in places other than these backwater Muslim countries that have no concept of how to treat people that do not believe or worship just as they do. That is why I support the man who made the barbie comment which as meant to be funny and I support Gellers/like minded people right to have conferences and get their message out even if people do not like it. It is why I support the KKK being able to have meetings though I think them scum. It is why I support the Muslim right to worship as they please in the United States but I do not support any restrictions on what can be said about Allah, Mohammad, the drawing of pictures, or burning of any books. I do not believe that anyone in the United States or rest of the world should give up any long held free speech rights because Muslims as a body or individually do not like the speech or because Muslims will riot or kill over the speech that is given or the right that is exercised.

    Hate speech is the arresting of a Christian Woman who publically states her views and Muslims as a body supporting that arrest as allowed under Sharia law while stating Sharia law is just. A Martyr is a Christian who publically shares her beliefs and is willing to be jailed or killed for their acts while carrying out the Great Commission. Not someone who kills themselves or encourages others to kill themselves and others to make a point or for political gain. Hate speech is the killing of a mother with young children because a man in Florida burned a Koran. Hate speech is the demeaning of a woman who is raped under Islamic law because she did not have the proper escort. Hate speech is the arresting of a 90+ year of woman because she is hungry and had to go to the market without a male relative because they were all dead. Hate speech is Islamic countries supporting the burning of thousands of bibles written in Arabic while protesting the burning of one Koran. Hate speech is when any Imam or any pastor stands in the pulpit and demands the death of any individual or group of individuals. I can go on about hate speech all day long. What it is not, is individuals stating their views in such a way that they do not call for death or violence against any one person or group of people. The speech can defame every belief that you and I hold dear but if it does not rise to that level I support the right of the speaker.

    Question Salaam. If the United States passed a law making it a crime to convert people to Islam or to teach others Islamic doctrine would you follow it? If your answer is no why should people of other faiths bow to Sharia under similar circumstances?

    I personally and publically support this woman and oppose the medieval and bigoted attitudes of the Christianaphobes who want to punish her for stating her beliefs. I will also state that I believe that anyone who thinks this punishment is just is also a bigoted Christianaphobe.

  7. Criley,
    Although I don’t agree with everything Salim says, ur comment bothered me:
    “Sharia will penalize Christians for stating their beliefs while pretending to “tolerate” other religions.” The Sharia law is suppose to be based off the Quran. The reason why some extremist countries like Iran, have such heavy penalties is because they rely too much on Hadith (even though the authentic Hadiths often contradict the teachings of the Quran and other Hadiths). Although the Quran is free from error, even authentic Hadiths are not. Nowhere in the Quran does it allow Muslims to kill anybody for slander of Islam. Read this:
    In the Quran:
    3:186 You [Muhammad] are sure to be tested through your possessions and persons; you are sure to hear much that is hurtful, from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with God [polytheists]. If you are steadfast and mindful of God, that is the best course.
    The Jews were notorious for their slander, but they were never punished for it because they only used words. However, they were punished after they broke the treaty with the Muslims by adding the Kuffar of Mecca. They were also punished according to the Jewish law for traitors (Deuteronomy 20:10-14), because the Prophet did not want to force any part of Islam on the Jews.
    In the Quran:

    2:104 O People who Believe, do not say (to the Prophet Mohammed- peace and blessings be upon him), “Raena (Be considerate towards us)” but say, “Unzurna (Look mercifully upon us)”, and listen attentively from the start; and for the disbelievers is a painful punishment.

    Although it does say the disbelievers will have a painful punishment, God does not give the Muslims permission to do anything to Christians or Jews.
    You see the word Raena means “consider us” in Arabic, but it is a curse word in the Hebrew language, so God gives the Jews an alternative word, he does not say to kill them.

  8. Whoops, some grammer error on my part: Meant to say aiding, not adding on line 14. And forgot to press space bar to separate the 3:186 quote after “…best course”.

  9. God, please stop Zelenick and her ilk from using Your Name to spread thir hatred and politics!

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