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May 9, 2014 2:18 pm

Jewish Home for Elderly Joins Boycott of Sultan of Brunei’s Beverly Hills Hotel

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Beverly Hills Hotel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Reseda-based Jewish Home for the Aging has joined a protest against harsh new laws imposed in the southeast Asian state of Brunei by boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is controlled by the country’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Los Angeles Daily News reported on Thursday.

The Los Angeles Jewish Home is moving its annual Legacy Circle Luncheon from the Hotel to the nearby Beverly Wilshire Hotel, according to marketing director Bonnie Polishuk.

Brunei, which owns the Beverly Hills Hotel through an investment group, recently adopted the Islamic Shariah penal code. It calls for punishing adultery, abortions and homosexuality with flogging, stoning and other harsh penalties, according to the Daily News.

The move triggered calls for anti-Brunei boycotts from the Beverly Hills City Council, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and celebrities such as Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres, among others.

The Motion Picture & Television Fund announced it will no longer hold its annual Night Before the Oscar party at the hotel as it has for many years, and business tycoon Richard Branson said his company Virgin Group and its 50,000 employees will not stay at the hotel.

The boycott has also been applied to the Hotel Bel-Air, which is also part of the Dorchester Collection of hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, a division of the country’s Ministry of Finance. The two hotels employ an estimated 875 workers, the  Daily News said.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and some Los Angeles City Council members said they refuse to attend events at the two hotels, and the city of Beverly Hills called for them to be sold.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said last week that the adoption of Shariah was a “great achievement” for his country.

“The decision to implement the (Shariah penal code) is not for fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Christopher Cowdray, chief executive officer of the Dorchester Collection, said the company understands the public’s concern, but does not believe a boycott should be directed at the hotels.

“The economic impact of this not only affects our loyal team members but extends to the local community, our valued partners and suppliers,” he said in a written statement. “Today’s global economy needs to be placed in a broader perspective. Most of us are not aware of the investors behind the brands that have become an integral part of our everyday life, from the gas we put in our cars, to the clothes we wear, to the way we use social media, and to the hotels we frequent.”

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  • jj

    female genital mutilation:Another muslim practice that WE will have to live with because of this goofball pres. Remember, fellow Americans… obummer is a muslim. If we do not get him out of here now, these are the kinds of things he will allow. This is no joke. It’s a fact.

    Islam is a declaration of war on each one of us,…You are directly or indirectly concerned whether you like it or not, whether you admit it or not…you are put in this war despite yourself , and you have to fight to survive, you have to fight to save your beloved ones….Staying passive means death, if it’s not your death now, it’ll be the death of your children and grand children after you…..Learn how to fight, learn how to defend yourself, your country, your people, and your future.

  • To people of conscience the laws of Sharia are not acceptable. Ignoring such evil is as bad and so action must be taken. Naziism was the epitome of evil and a threat to mankind. Our soldiers died in fighting it as were innocent civilians, children. But it had to be eliminated despite the costs. I am sure that the business people adversely affected by this boycott will be able to divert their efforts elsewhere and survive.

  • Lighten

    The shariah law is the best law that ever exist on earth.Some people think it’s cruel,but actually is not.As long as we don’t break the law,we shouldn’t be afraid.Muslims and some of the non-muslim Bruneian are fine with this law.It might be strict but it’s beneficial for them.And the country is more blessing and peaceful i think.Such a small country with a great muslim king who apply Allah’s law and always stand for it eventhough some people against him.He never afraid of anyone except Allah.Cause he knows that this world is only temporary,everything is come from the Creator,Allah.Allah leads us to Jannah.May Allah Bless every muslim worldwide.Btw Ramadhan is soon…be prepared..:D

    P.s:sorry if some1 feel offended,i also make mistake but i just want to tell the truth.Peace(^_^)

    • Raymond James

      Yes, look how the Muslims in Nigeria are applying Islamic law with the kidnapping of schoolgirls.

    • Chaz

      Yeah… Mutilating a young girl with a dirty razor blade is “the best law on earth”… Are you confusing earth with some “ET” PLANET were all good mutilators (and human bombs) go to be with a heavenly band of virgins?
      Like anyone thinks you really are sorry if anyone is offended… your gall in signing “peace” has no bounds…
      Since you are an obvious LIAR, cut out your own tongue in some self masochistic moment!!

    • Chaz

      I made, what I thought, was a valid reply to “Lighten” … It was immediately moderated then rejected by whomever moderates comments. THRU CUT & PASTE I resent it successfully see above)!!
      I find said rejection bias, especially in light of the remarks by “Lighten” claiming that mutilation, stoning & public wipping is the best law THAT EXSISTS ON EARTH. That persons comments were & are to me vulgar and ponographic; seems my remarks somehow were too graphic compared to the “polite” way “LIghten” guised ugliness.
      I asked (and still do) “Listen” what altered universe, what planet earth was being referred to… Was it possibly the planet where Muslim (human bomb) martyrs go to, welcomed with open arms by hoards of virgins? One can not separate Shiria Law from Muslim ideology and thus anyone giving $ to a “Sultan” best be aware of what said $ goes to fund… HOPEFULLY the boycott will force a sale of the Dorchster Group Properties and the employees of said properties should join in the boycott to eventually work for a cooperation not envolved directly with abuse of humans for doing things that are…well human.
      There are circumstances were people are weak and have, well, extramarital affairs… Should they (of course just the women) have BOULDERS hauled at them? NO NO NO … Thus I called “Listen” a LIAR. To hide behind saying that Shiria Law is best and then say if one does nothing wrong one has nothing to worry about, is to LIE because I know of no other religious based law or dogma that calls for a sinners IMMEDIATE DEATH HERE ON EARTH…Following the very words of “Listen” I thus suggested that since via my dogma he was a LIAR he should be willing to CUT OUT HIS OWN TONGUE, Shiria Law seeing lying to be a sin.
      “Lighten” was & is calling fo adherence to an eye for an eye theology not me…
      Because, as a transparent side note, “Lighten” says “sorry” if anyone is offended about the remarks in the comment means I guess, that such horrid remarks got printed and mine did not….if you note just before “Lighten” said “sorry” THERE WAS A CALL MADE OUT TO ALL GOOD MUSLIMS EVERYWHERE TO “BE PREPARED.” I guess the concept that a discussion on whether or not one should boycott the BH Hotel was turned into a call to arms to all Muslins is printable, due to the use of a transparent “sorry,” and my unapologetic disgust gets dissected and discarded shows what an uphill battle this worldwide boycott is going to be BUT HOW WELL WORTH IT IT IS!!

  • BH in Iowa

    The first crack in the red/green alliance? Thank you gays!

    • Chaz

      I have no idea what you are talking about… I love education so could anyone tell me what the hell that cornhusker “BH” is referring to?


    The boycott idea is stupid and counterproductive.

    Jews interested in social justice should not penalize the poor housekeepers , janitors, cooks and other hotel employees who will be the ones to suffer. The royalty will not lose one moment of sleep.

    Instead focus on the Obama administration and the State Department to put pressure on the royalty to change their stance. Focus your attention on those who can effect change.

    Do not, in your mistaken the misdirected zeal, hurt those who depend for their livelihood on the community patronage.

    • jj

      you have to stand up for what is right and sharia is a barbaric and evil.just like islam who embrace pedophilia mohamid never was just a myth and Alla is a false god!
      islam is a cancer on the world hands down!

      • Chaz

        Yee gods you are so transparent… You’ll reply to ANYTHING just as long as you can get an anti-Obama comment in…
        I thought your ilk thought Obama was a Muslim? If you believe that then you must be ON HIS SIDE since Muslims generally favor SHIRIA LAW…
        the boycott will eventually benefit those employees when it (the boycott) finally gets that Sheik to sell… THUS..the employees should get s backbone and HELP the boycott get rid of the sultan of sin !!! Just think what he would do if he could against them!!

  • Dan

    So Israel being considered a “Jewish State,” with equal rights for all, is beyond the pale and worthy of international condemnation. But all that happens when Brunei imposes Sharia (for all intents and purposes creating an Islamic State) is a few hotels get boycotted? Am I missing something?

    • shloime

      yes, you are.

      israel being a jewish state still GUARANTEES the rights of all minorities to practice their religious beliefs, in a modern democratic state.

      sharia law does NOT recognize any equal rights, whether between men and women, or between moslems and “unbelievers”. it prohibits the construction of churches (and synagogues), the public display of any religion other than islam, and punishes conversion out of islam by death. it also punishes homosexuality, between consenting adults, by death.

      any comparison to israel is an exercise in ignorance and absurdity.

    • Chaz

      Yes… Your brain!