June 7, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The human rights group Stop Islamization of America [SIOA] sponsored an extremely well attended rally in lower Manhattan on June 6, to protest the planned construction of a large mosque overlooking Ground Zero.
SIOA has long been active in defending human rights, religious liberty as well as ensuring preservation of freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to make the United States compliant with Shari'a [Islamic law].
The event was held at the corner of Church and Liberty Streets, near the site of the September 11, 2001 Muslim terrorist attack.
Turnout was impressive, despite the last minute cancelling of a previously issued permit. Participants came from as far away as Washington state, California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere. Many religious denominations were represented including Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists and Muslims of conscience.
Police estimated the size of the crowd to be 5,000 but independent sources put the figure closer 10,000.
Supporting groups included the Freedom Defense Initiative; ACT for America (ACT Manhattan chapter); Z Street; SIOE; No Mosque at Ground Zero; Staten Island Tea Party; American Bulldogs; VAST; the Center for Security Policy; Shalom International; the Unity Coalition for Israel; 911 Families; Indian American Intellectuals Forum; Veterans Against Jihad (VAJ); and Faith Freedom International.
A large contingent of speakers addressed the group's concerns including Pamela Geller Executive Director, SIOA and Robert Spencer, Associate Director, SIOA.
Also giving voice to their concerns were C. Lee Hanson [lost his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter on 9/11], Anders Gravers [of Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE)],Simon Deng [a Sudanese ex-slave and campaigner for human rights for Sudanese Christians], Richard Connerney [department oh philosophy, Pace University], James Lafferty [Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force], Nonie Darwish [ex-Muslim and author of Now They Call Me Infidel and Cruel and Usual Punishment, a book about Shari'a], Jay Townsend [GOP candidate for U.S. Senate], Nelly Braginskaya [9/11 Family Member who lost her son], Dr. Babu Suseelan [Hindu leader and human rights activist] Beverly Carlson [Founder of The Band of Mothers], Larry Savinkin [father of Vladimir Savinkin, President of September 11 Family Group, uniting 9/11 families from Russian-American community], Dan Maloney [NY Director of Gathering of Eagles and Congressional candidate, NY Dist. 4], Herbert London [Hudson Institute], Alan T. DeVona [PAPD WTC 9/11/01 Patrol Sergeant at the time of the terrorist attack]
A common theme connected the speakers - that the proposed [and murkily funded] mosque is confrontational in the extreme and represents an insult to the Americans who were murdered there, as well as it being a manifestation of a radically intolerant belief system put forward by Islamists that is incompatible with the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
The event's main organizers were SIOA executive director Pamela Geller [a popular blogger and columnist [http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com] and SIOA associate director Robert Spencer, the bestselling author and director of [JihadWatch.org]. Geller is the author (with Spencer) of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America (foreword by Ambassador John Bolton), coming July 27 from Simon & Schuster.
Geller and Spencer announced that they would be hosting another rally against the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque in September, and again if construction begins on the project. They also announced today that they would be filing a lawsuit, petitioning that the Burlington Coat Factory, site of the proposed mega-mosque, be designated a war memorial in the spirit of Pearl Harbor and Gettysburg
For further information, SIOA's Face book page is located here - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=110841015612178
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