Toronto hotel cancels iERA conference booking

The Sheraton Centre hotel will not host a Muslim religious conference that was to feature speakers who have expressed anti-gay and anti-Semitic views.

The Star informed a Sheraton convention services manager about the speakers on Wednesday. On Thursday, after the Star published an article on the conference, a hotel spokesperson said it had been “cancelled due to the organization’s failure to satisfy a contractual requirement”.

The conference, which had been scheduled for Oct. 23, was organized by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a Canadian presence.

In a statement, the IERA said it “unequivocally rejects” the Star‘s article as “false and misleading”. It also issued an “action alert” urging supporters to “complain about this unfair action”.

“The aim of the upcoming conference, far from promoting hatred, will focus on getting Muslims to pro-actively engage with the wider society by sharing the true essence of the Islamic faith in both word and deed,” the IERA said.

Toronto Star, 14 October 2011