A Protest Against Radical Islam
A spirited “Alliance of Infidels” is rallying right now in Times Square, not far from where Faisal Shahzad left his parked car bomb. Charles Jacobs has just finished addressing the crowd. The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam currently numbers 20 speakers and their supporters–but the number of rush hour passersby are numberless and, according to Marion Dreyfus, possibly in the” thousands.” People are stopping, listening, taking it in.
It is a raw, cold and sunless evening in Manhattan, not an ideal day to hold an open air rally. Still, one must admire the commitment and courage of the Coalition and its many partners. They are out there, with their extraordinary banners and posters (see below) no matter how bad the weather may be. Finally—finally–one brave gay man, Martin Rosenthal, is there, holding a sign which reads: “Queers Against Radical Islam.”
Of course, wouldn’t you know it, a Muslim passerby comes up to Rosenthal and yells: “Why not attack Judaism? They don’t like homosexuals either.” Rosenthal responds: “But they don’t torture and hang them like they do in Islamic Iran.”
This may be the first time that New Yorkers, post-Shahzad, are seeing and hearing a “rainbow coalition” of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, and Muslims tell the truth about radical Islam or about Islamism. The Coalition defines radical Islam as an ideology which “promotes and organizes terrorism and jihad across the world; preaches bigotry and intolerance of other beliefs and the principle that radical Islam must dominate all other doctrines; initiates hate crimes and fatwas against infidels, both Muslim and non-Muslim; murders homosexuals and apostates; and abuses, mutilates, and murders women and children through beatings, stonings, and honor killings.”
Charles Jacobs, the co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Group (with on the ground experience in Sudan, where he saw Muslims enslaving and torturing black Africans), excoriated the city’s Mayor “for not calling the attack what it was: An act of jihad.” He noted, as well, that the media backed into this one, preferring to “make excuses” by saying that Shahzad was unemployed, his house was in foreclosure.
‘Tis true: Politicians, including our President, were also reluctant to describe this as a planned act of jihad against infidels in America by the Pakistani Taliban, which has ties to both Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba (The Army of the Pure). Now, slowly, reluctantly, it has begun to do so.
Madeleine Brooks of New York’s ACT for America, said this: “We are facing mortal danger. And Mayor Bloomberg blamed ‘some white guy who is angry about the healthcare bill’. Government officials were determined not to face the reality of radical Islam, putting us all in great danger. But our lack of intellectual clarity makes us look weak and undermines our confidence.”
Passionate words. Jacobs views the reason for such denial as due to “self-doubt, guilt over what they see as undeserved wealth.” I would add that our Talking Heads are terrified—not of being blown up—but of being accused of racism, profiling, discriminating against Muslims, even when the Muslim has ties to known terrorist organizations
Narain Kataria, President of the Indian-American Intellectual Forum, described the long and terrible history of Muslims slaughtering Sikhs and Hindus in India/Pakistan. (I have spoken to him on several ocassions and he can barely speak when he describes the living conditions of Hindus in Kashmir, and of those who were exiled from Pakistan and Bangladesh. His point: This grim reality is not covered in Bangladesh, Pakistan, or in India.)
Bhupinder Singh Bhurji of the Namdhari Sikh Foundation said: “We must keep fighting. We must encourage others to join us. We need everyone’s support.”
Arish Sahani, the Vice-President of the Indian-American Intellectual Forum, said “that we need to unite, and to raise our voices to our elected officials about the danger of radical Islam. Islam is a violent religion. This should be an issue in the upcoming mid-term elections.”
Andrew Upton, a Coalition steering committee member said: “The New York Times does not report the news about radical Islam. Radical Islam is 21st century Nazism. 9/11 is not an isolated attack. Radical Islamists have a pernicious agenda.”
Dr. John Press, the author of a book titled “Culturism” summed the mood up succinctly. He said: “If we don’t speak out now, we won’t be able to speak out later. We will all be living under a world-wide Caliphate.”
And now, the group is marching, marching, toward the crime scene, where, as Marvin Belsky so eloquently put it, “this assault against humanity was to take place. We want to let people in NYC know that something terrible almost happened there, and that this information must not be suppressed.
They marched for fifteen minutes carrying their placards and banners. Marching right into the history books if you ask me.
I would like to thank journalist Fern Sidman for being my intrepid on-the-ground reporter and my assistant Nathan Bloom who stayed late to make sure I could file this story now.
HRCARI’s website may be found at http://www.hrcari.org/
Here are some of the banners and posters: