Saturday saw a nationwide coordinated effort by racists, xenophobes and general Islamaphobic bigots to bully and intimidate Muslims at mosques across the United States.
The anti-Muslim sentiments have seemingly been reenergized by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has not shied away from making disturbing statements about America supposedly having “a Muslim problem.”
Nearly 30 armed anti-Muslim protests were scheduled to take place at mosques Saturday. Those efforts were initiated by a now notorious Islamaphobe named John Ritzheimer.
Ritzheimer is apparently the force behind a Facebook page, duplicitously calling itself “Global Rally for Humanity.”
The page called upon “patriots” to protest Islam at their local mosques.
“Global Rally for Humanity” recently shared a video of Ritzheimer discussing the rallies, using the pretext of the Second Amendment to cover over the obvious hate that has been driving these rallies.
In spite of the fact that Ritzheimer seems to be so clearly tied to these protests, he denies being the “mastermind” behind them.
“Regardless of what the lying media has already put out there telling you that this was all my mastermind, no, I can’t take credit for such a wonderful rally,” he claimed video. “But I support it 100 percent.”
That denial might be smart for Ritzheimer, considering how unimaginably poor the turn out at the protests across the nation.
More noteworthy than the ridiculously poor turn out at these hate-protests, was the widespread response of counter protests, at mosques across the nation.
In Dearborn, Michigan, about four dozen armed protesters promised to show up, from the area and neighboring states, in order to protest the Islamaphobic bullies.
“If you want to show up with guns and intimidate worshippers, you will find that racists and bigots aren’t the only ones with guns,” an organizer of the Dearborn counter protest said.
We contacted the Dearborn Police, who told us that in their desire to avoid conflict, they had discussed moving the protest with the anti-Islam protesters. Instead of protesting at the Islamic Center of Dearborn, they moved the protest to a partitioned area outside of the police station.
Effectively ending the mosque protest, many who planned to turn out to counter protest in Dearborn headed to the Columbus, Ohio protest, that was planned for 9:00 a.m. sharp.
“We told the cops we would leave rifles in the vehicles unless the bigots brought some out,” one of the organizers, Micah, told us. “The cops were actually mellow with us and just said they hoped no one showed up.”
As the counter protesters assembled, wearing Anonymous masks, and in some cases, Islamic kufis and keffiyeh scarves, as well as Arabic signs saying “I Love Islam” and the like, protester after protester decided that showing up was not in their best interests.
“Car after car of bigots drove by, saw the two dozen of us (about two dozen didn’t show up cause we changed the location last minute), with masks, and they bailed. One lady stuck around,” the protesters told us. “We chatted with her for 45 minutes. By the end she was giving folks hugs, and came in to the masjid for bagels and coffee… and a tour.”
Take a look at that lengthy video below…
The woman came inside taking selfies with Muslims.
“Super funny look on the cops faces when they saw us walking her in,” Micah told us. “It was a sorta beautiful thing. One of those ‘maybe there is still sorta hope for humanity’ kind of days.”
Watch the woman enter the mosque with counter protesters, surrounded by friendly faces and applause.
All in all, this was a major fail for Ritzheimer and his self-styled “United States Defense League.”
(Article by M. David and M.A. Hussein; all images and video via #Op309 Media and Columbus Cop Block)