On Oct. 9 and 10, a group of loosely connected protesters plan to host anti-Muslim demonstrations in front of at least 20 mosques, community centers and government offices.
A Facebook page titled “Global Rally for Humanity” says “[h]umanity is attacked daily by radical Islam” and is calling for protests in “every country at every Mosque.” The page encourages “patriots” around the country to set up events in their own town with Facebook pages, telling organizers to “[r]emember to do your homework and find a local mosque in your area.”
While some organizers have urged participants to leave their weapons at home, others are urging protesters to exercise “ALL of your Constitutional Rights.”
The Michigan event page describes the Dearborn event as an “OPEN CARRY anti-mosque pro-AMERICA rally on 10/10!!”
Ties to Phoenix Armed Biker Rally
The Phoenix rally organizer, Jon Ritzheimer, also coordinated the May 29, 2015, Freedom of Speech Rally Round 2, which drew hundreds of armed protesters as well as several hundred counter protesters, lines of police officers and national media attention.
At the May event, Ritzheimer was quoted in the Washington Post: “I would love to see more of these events pop up in other states. I want fellow patriots standing right here next to me. This isn’t about me. Everybody’s been thinking it, I’m just saying it.”
Ritzheimer is using that publicity to promote the Global Rally for Humanity events scattered across the country. On his own event page, he calls for all “Patriots, Veterans, Bikers, Militia, Reservists, active-duty Infidels and all AMERICANS who still LOVE LIBERTY and cling to the CONSTITUTION!!” He says: “We’ll see y’all back at the Islamic Center of Phoenix starting at 9AM on October 10th, in support of Ole Glory, our American Heritage, our blood-bought Freedoms, and our American way of life.”
Targeting ‘Justice or Else’ event
Many of the organizers have pointed to the Oct. 10, 2015, Justice or Else Million Man March 20th Anniversary in Washington, D.C. as the impetus for these rallies, noting that the event headliner is Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. However, each of the announced events, except for the D.C. rally, are taking place at or near mosques and community centers unaffiliated with the Nation of Islam or the march itself. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, event page illustrates how organizers are making their case with a litany of unrelated excuses:
“October 10th, radical Imam Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam will be in DC preaching their anti-American hate. We’ve got about 3000 patriots going to DC to defend old glory, but those of us who can’t make it to DC are rallying up locally, at a mosque funded by American taxpayers against our will. Murfreesboro, TN. Time to let our voices be heard, Islamists are NOT going to destroy America!!”
But really any excuse is good enough for these event organizers to stage anti-Muslim events. Here are a couple others:
Some of the event organizers are riding the wave of recent criticism from anti-Muslim activists about the Iran nuclear deal. The deal was a feature topic of conversation at both a D.C. rally organized by notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney and at the recent ACT! for America conference.
Mike White, an organizer for the Ellicott City, Maryland, rally on Oct. 10 is using his event page to encourage people to sign a petition against the recent Iran deal. The petition reads, in part, “We the people of the United States collectively agree that The Iranian Nuclear Deal is an act of treason. We believe that under the constitution per article 3, Section 3, that those who voted for this deal and those who brokered this deal should be arrested immediately and tried for treason.”
White also expresses disappointment about the deal in a September 28 video. He says, “What they’re trying to do is absolutely a crime against United States and United States people.” As for the Ellicott City event, he adds: “I’m actually trying to rent a live pig. We’re gonna walk the pig back and forth.”
A second major theme for the events is refugee resettlement, another hot topic for anti-Muslim activists right now. ACT! for America — the nation’s largest anti-Muslim grassroots organization — announced an anti-refugee working group to help local chapters and members push back against refugee resettlement programs in the United States. ACT! also gave a platform to anti-refugee blogger Ann Corcoran at the D.C. conference. Corcoran, who is also working closely with Gaffney, claims the resettlement of refugees, particularly Syrian refugees, is part of a Muslim colonization of the United States. She says this effort is being aided by the U.S. government. Corcoran, Gaffney and other anti-Muslim activists point to the arrival of refugees in Europe to forecast a crisis here in the United States.
Some organizers of the Oct. 10 rallies seem to agree. The event page for Dearborn, Michigan, puts it this way: “As this invasion of Muslim colonization continues unchecked on American soil, we can only expect the same suffering now endured by EUROPE. … Now is the time to act. Now is the time to save our Republic.”