The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is consistently ranked among the richest men in the world. When he last visited Los Angeles in December 2011, police halted traffic on the 405 freeway–normally one of the busiest roads in the U.S.–during rush hour to allow room for his motorcade as he visited his California properties (see photo above). Yet he has suffered millions in losses in recent gay rights protests at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
As John Nolte of Breitbart News has noted, Hollywood’s A-list celebrities have stood up against Brunei’s recent enactment of very harsh penalties for homosexual activity, in keeping with Islamic sharia law. This rare case of protest against strict interpretations of Islamic doctrine has cost the Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by the sultan through the Dorchester Collection, 20 canceled events and $2 million, the Wall Stret Journal reports.
Typically, as local radio host Ben Shapiro (also of Breitbart News) has noted, Hollywood looks the other way when it comes to human rights abuses in the Islamic world. In this case, Hollywood has acted–and, ironically, against the will of some hotel employees, 100 of whom packed a Beverly Hills city council meeting to urge members not to condemn the hotel. All in vain, the Journal notes: the vote against the hotel was unanimous.
Local politicians are joining the protest against the iconic landmark and its owners and sister hotels, including Mayor Eric Garcetti. There is no indication of any anti-gay discrimination at Dorchester properties in the U.S.