Following pressure from a gay activist group and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto has announced a cancellation of a scheduled Dawah event which was due to take place on 23rd October. The event entitled ‘Calling the World back to Allah’, which was organised by IERA had come under pressure by an article published in the ‘Toronto Star’, Canada’s leading newspaper, on October 13th. In what appears to be a poorly researched piece bearing a strong resemblance to another article written in the British paper ‘Pink News’ earlier this year, Daniel Dale, selectively quotes various members of IERA, alleging homophobia and anti-semitism. The ‘Pink News’ article at the time was objecting to a London event, which went ahead as planned despite ‘Pink News’’ attempted smear campaign. At the time, IERA issued a response, clarifying that the allegations were unfounded and that they welcomed the opportunity to dialogue with all people regardless of background or orientation.
The allegation of homophobia as a beating stick for the Muslim community is unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue. IERA’s events are focused on Tauhid and the beauty of Islam and it is this that protestors are actually silencing, while advocating their own agendas.
Gay rights groups are seeking to marginalise the Muslim community using opinions on homosexuality as the trendy pretext. IERA is currently campaigning against the Sheraton’s position and requests letters of complaint addressed to the hotel management. Until the hotel respond to the letters, it is questionable whether the Muslim community will continue to finance the Sheraton chain of hotels.