• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Photos from NY 9/11 Anti-Mosque Protest

Various sites are carrying photos from yesterday’s anti-mosque rally in New York; organiser Pamela Geller had promised to “confiscate” signs, which was always an impractical proposition, and as expected a number of messages were on display.

Geller’s Atlas Shrugs site presents the rally as she should like it to be portrayed, with US flags and caps predominating. The third picture suggests that the crowd was not particularly deep, although it’s difficult to judge how many were there. Geller boasts 40,000, while other media estimate “around 1,000”. Geller also complains that “The media pretends these people don’t exist. It’s criminal.” Actually, here in the UK it was the top story on the BBC rolling news channel and the World Service after coverage of the official 9/11 commemoration.

Urban Infidel has more pictures of individual participants, and Talking Points Memo has an extensive gallery. Posters include: the word “Sharia” written as if with dripping blood (also seen that the previous rally on the issue); “What God do You Kill For?”; a wounded arm having salt sprinkled on it; “Cordoba = Conquer, Not Here!”; “‘Sharia’ Pelosi – Implant a Tongue Depressor – Wire her Jaw” (held by a middle-aged woman wearing a “Waterboarding Instructor” t-shirt); “Those Who Waith on the Lord Shall Renew their Strength. They Shall Mount Up with Wings Like Eagles!! Isaiah 40:31”; “Muhummad was the First Radical Muslim: Osama bin Laden is Following Directions”; “Insult to Ground Zero = Purposeless Symbolism Causing Pain to Millions = Insult to Holy Koran. If You Love Peace, Move the Mosque”; and “Transform Islam, Not America”. Little Green Footballs, meanwhile, draws attention to a picture of a man holding a Koran taped to a piece of cardboard bearing the words “Toilet Paper”. Particularly in evidence in a number of photos is a a small flyer declaring “No Obama’s Mosque”.

A few specific groups and individuals could be identified; LGF shows a picture of several English Defence League members, and TPM picture 11 shows EDL activist Kevin Carroll (I previously blogged on Carroll here) [UPDATE: Apparently Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who heads the EDL as “Tommy Robinson“, was refused entry at JFK Airport]. Picture 15 shows a glimpse of a banner representing the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Propery, a well-known right-wing Roman Catholic organisation (I blogged on this group here). Geller’s site shows banners from AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens (their founder was one of the speakers), while Urban Infidel has shots of Jose Morales and George “Tako” Maniatakos of “USAHeard” – both men, bedecked in US flag clothing, have been carrying a large cross around various cities to commemorate 9/11 victims: the cross is decorated with the sentences “In God We Trust” and “We the People”, and there is a wheel at the base to make carrying it easier (USAHeard is an anti-Obama organisation, “devoted to restoring our country to what our founding fathers had envisioned”).

Also present close by was a van carrying a number of anti-gay and anti-abortion messages, and declaring that 9/11 was the wrath of God. This van is Ronald Brock’s “Truth Truck“, which appears at various events. Brock was profiled in the Denver Post in 2008.

Some interest appears to have settled on a South Asian man named Kemal, who appears in the same picture as Carroll. He had a lengthy self-painted banner declaring that

Mohamed was No Prophet and Koran is No Holy Book: The Enire World was Deceived by Mohamed and His Stooges. I am Self Taught Spiritual Scientist. My Mission is [unclear]… This Present Human Race this Stinking Lie! I am a Real Muslim not a Half-Baked Degenerate Coward.