Country club under fire for canceling GOP event over ‘safety concerns’; ‘shameful cowardice’

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Texas that left two jihadis dead, an event Gert Wilders keynoted, a South Florida country club is coming under fire on social media after canceling a GOP fundraiser event featuring the Dutch politician.

gert-gellerWilders, a harsh critic of Islam, had just finished speaking at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest last Sunday in Garland, Texas, when two Muslim extremists were killed after opening fire on security outside the building.

The Palm Beach County Republican Party had reserved Boca West Country Club for a $125-a-plate “Lobsterfest” dinner on Aug. 15 that Wilders will headline, but the facility announced on Thursday that the event had been cancelled due to safety concerns, the Palm Beach Post reported.

“At the time the reservation for the dinner was made no one in management or in the catering department at Boca West knew the identity of the keynote speaker,” Boca West Chairman Bob Locke told The Post. “Due to potential safety concerns associated with Mr. Wilders’ appearance, we have elected to cancel the reservation for this private event.”

Social media commenters were outraged, with one summing up the general feeling pretty well as “shameful cowardice.”

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Michael Barnett, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, understands better what’s at stake and is looking for a new venue to host the event — with added security.

“The feeling is we have to move on with this event as planned,” Barnett told the Sun-Sentinel. “It would send a very bad message if we cowered away, and buckled under pressure.”

Pam Geller, the organizer of the “Draw Muhammad” event, ripped the country club for its “cowardice.”

“This is what shows the jihad terrorists that terrorism works,” she wrote on her website. “This is why there will be more jihad terrorism. This is the cowardice that is killing freedom.”

Geller also shared her thoughts on social media, prompting others to respond just as harshly. Here is a sampling from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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