This week’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center will feature more than just a look at the emotional toll the deaths of nearly 3,000 New Yorkers continue to have on this city. There are also plans by anti-Muslim groups to use the attacks committed by 19 radical Islamists to point a finger at Islam. In recent years, many anti-Muslim groups have deemed Islam the religion at the root of the 9/11 tragedy.
Members of the International Action Center (IAC) are calling on activists to realize that “Internet-based groups like Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch will once again attempt to stage a bigotry pageant on 9/11.” Just last year, these groups, which made their name sponsoring protests against the building of the Park51 project, aka the Islamic prayer center at 51 Park Place, held a Tea Party-led rally that received plenty of media coverage.
However, this year’s anti-Muslim rally isn’t being talked about as much. “Yeah, they’re not getting the same kind of publicity they got last year, but they have announced plans to have a rally,” said Tony Murphy, one of the IAC rally organizers. “So we definitely feel that it’s necessary to counter that.”
Both Stop Islamization of America (the U.S. affiliate of Stop Islamisation of Europe and Stop Islamisation of Denmark, whose motto is “Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense”), and the blog Jihad Watch are reportedly planning to hold an anti-Islam rally on Sept. 11.
The International Action Center (IAC) will hold its own anti-racist Unity & Solidarity Rally to counter the Islamophobic rally on Sept. 11. The IAC’s rally will be held at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Park Place in Manhattan. All are invited to attend.
Last year’s anti-Muslim rally won free publicity because of the protests against the Islamic prayer center and due to declarations by the Florida-based Minister Jerry Jones that he would burn a copy of the Quran on Sept. 11.
“They’re not getting quite as much attention as they got last year, and part of that is because this neo-fascist guy who went on a killing spree in Norway cited one of these groups, one of Pamela Geller’s groups, as his inspiration,” said Murphy. Geller is one of the leaders of Stop Islamization of America.
“But there are things that have come out that have shown that we still need to fight against this campaign of criminalizing Muslims and the general scapegoating of immigrants,” Murphy concluded.