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BREAKING: Islamic org’s Arlington banquet cancelled after threats against hotel

Crystal Gateway Marriott hotel (via Google Maps)

A Muslim group’s planned banquet in Arlington has been cancelled after it says the hotel received “multiple terror threats.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was scheduled to hold its 29th annual banquet Saturday night at the Crystal Gateway Marriott at 1700 Richmond Highway.

“CAIR has hosted banquets there annually for over ten years,” the group said tonight (Thursday) in a press release. “In recent days, according to the Marriott, anonymous callers have threatened to plant bombs in the hotel’s parking garage, kill specific hotel staff in their homes, and storm the hotel in a repeat of the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol if the events moved forward.”

“Law enforcement authorities and the FBI have been notified of the terror threats. The FBI has confirmed to CAIR that it is investigating the reported threats,” the press release continued. “The terror threats came after CAIR updated its original banquet programming to focus on the work needed to support basic Palestinian human rights.”

CAIR says it “plans to proceed with [the] banquet at an alternate secure location with heightened security.” A separate banquet planned for Oct. 28 in Maryland “will also be cancelled as a precaution and merged into the Oct. 21st event.”

The banquets were billed as “a night of solidarity with Palestine,” amid the Israel-Hamas war.

“We strongly condemn the extreme and disgusting threats against our organization, the Marriott hotel and its staff,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement. “We will not allow the threats of anti-Palestinian racists and anti-Muslim bigots who seek to dehumanize the Palestinian people and silence American Muslims to stop us from pursuing justice for all.”

“We ask all those who value free speech, human rights and justice to support CAIR’s work today to show hateful extremists that they will not succeed in silencing us and will only make our voices stronger, God willing,” Awad added.

An Arlington-based conservative media outlet wrote Tuesday that the banquet was “generating concerns among pro-Israel advocates, who say the hotel chain has a responsibility to stop its venues from being used to foment anti-Israel fervor.”

The United States has seen heightened incidents of bigotry and violence against Muslims and Jews since the war’s outbreak, which started with a surprise Hamas attack that killed more than 1,000 in Israel. The Israeli airstrikes since then have killed several thousand in Gaza, Palestinian authorities say.

Among the incidents was the murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy in Illinois. He was buried Monday after, authorities say, he was stabbed to death by a landlord who was “obsessed with the war between Hamas and Israel.”

Photo via Google Maps

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