National Security

Iranian-American Human Rights Activist Blasts Beverly Hills Hotel

Lisa Daftari
Lisa Daftari / Wikimedia Commons

Iranian-American human rights activist and journalist Lisa Daftari blasted the Beverly Hills Hotel last week while accepting an award at a gala being hosted in the controversial hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who has come under fierce criticism for imposing Sharia law in his country and oppressing women.

Daftari, a Fox News contributor and critic of oppressive regimes, was at the hotel on Sunday to accept an award from the Iranian Woman's Organization. In her remarks before the group, Daftari used the occasion to slam the Beverly Hills Hotel’s wealthy owner for enacting an extremist version of Islamic law that abuses women.

The storied Beverly Hill Hotel has come under increasing scrutiny and protest in recent months following the Sultan of Brunei's decision to instate Shariah law, which, among other things, permits the stoning and honor killing of women.

Daftari pointed out the irony of holding a human rights event at a lavish hotel owned by a principal violator of such rights.

"As the women of Saudi Arabia fight to do nothing more than drive and go out alone, and lets not forget that as we sit here in this hotel, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, only months ago protests and boycotts led by celebrities such as Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres, reminded us that while there’s an argument to be made about supporting the employees and local economy of the hotel, we cannot and will not forget the citizens of that country or any others where Sharia Law has been implemented, stripping its citizens of basic human rights," Daftari said, according to a portion of her remarks posted online.

Daftari said that while she was initially conflicted about whether to even attend the event, she decided to use the opportunity to criticize the Sultan of Brunei from within one of his most prized luxury possessions.

"It's crucial to keep human rights abuses and the implementation of Sharia Law around the world highlighted in the media and public spotlight," Daftari told the Washington Free Beacon. "I cover human rights on a daily basis bringing to the main stream media awareness of the realities that exist within these societies; their treatment of women, of political dissidents, of religious minorities, and others."

"I decided to attend the event and use the platform to address this very issue not from the picket line, but from right inside the hotel," she explained. "This particular case garnered much attention because of the hotel's popularity and celebrity advocacy, but think about all the other places in the world at this very moment where the cases of innocent victims of human rights abuses are not brought to light."

Protests and boycotts were aimed at the hotel earlier this year by a range of celebrity activists following the Sultan of Brunei's decision to enact Shariah law. The hotel has reportedly lost millions in revenue as a result of these boycotts.