Earlier today I took it upon myself to journey to Foley Square in Manhattan, where an anti-NYPD, anti-intelligence agency gathering sponsored by CAIR, Al-Awda, and Desis Rising Up & Moving, among other Islamic activist organizations, was taking place. For a full recap of what occurred I suggest you check out my Twitter account, which I used to live-tweet the event as it was occurring. However, for now I’ll just lay out my impression of the gathering and thoughts about its message, then let the photographs speak for themselves. The question of whether American citizens should be surveilled, watched, and interrogated for potential terrorist conspiracies is always a touchy one. As Americans we have problems with the notion that domestic investigative and law enforcement agencies are monitoring our activities, regardless of the merits of the case they may be able to mount, and react viscerally to any perceived encroachment upon our privacy.
However, when you have organizations such as CAIR-which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing case in this nation’s history and whose antecedent organization, the Islamic Association of Palestine, was an offshoot of Hamas-operating inside of your country, to ask agencies charged with protecting us-such as the FBI-to lay off is a bit much. When a group such as the Muslim American Society-another co-sponsor of this rally-which all but admits that it’s a branch of the same tree as the Muslim Brotherhood, is allowed to operate on American soil the notion that Americans would not be interested in their activities is a bit preposterous.
That’s why I think the best solution to this unique dilemma of retaining our open society, yet preventing both terrorism and the loss of our freedoms, is to eliminate the chances of a fifth column developing on American soil. There’s no reason we should allow the mass migration of people who can or will not adapt to American cultural norms to our shores. However, that’s the solution today’s demonstrators rejected wholeheartedly. Now on to the photos.
There was a sparse crowd at the beginning of the rally:
But it began to fill up as the day progressed. I’d estimate that there were somewhere between 70 and 85 people at the height of the rally, including the ubiquitous, green-hatted members of the Marxist National Lawyers Guild.
As well as the self-consciously imposing Muslim “toughs” acting as security for the day’s speakers.
This is a banner from the Muslim Solidarity Committee, an organization founded in order to raise funds for the family members of Yassin Aref and others convicted of rendering support to the Pakistani terror organization Jaish-e-Mohammed.
There were scads of lawyers and law students present, including those from the City University of New York:
And lots of praying, including the adhan, which is not nearly as mellifluous as some people would have us believe.
I wasn’t keeping track, but I did count at least three separate prayers during the time I was there.
And where there’s Islam, there’s proselytization:
There was no love lost between those in attendance and the New York Police Department.
Not that the Central Intelligence Agency was a fan favorite either.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was a frequent target of enmity, with calls for his dismissal echoing from the speaker’s podium and the crowd.
There were a large number of East Indians in attendance:
Most speakers tried to draw a parallel between the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that had taken place only a few blocks away, at Zuccotti Park, and today’s festivities. To be fair to the Muslims, they at least had a semi-consistent message going for them.
Not that inveterate, elderly Marxists didn’t try to muddle things a bit.
Their incongruous ally:
Speaking of Marxists, I ran into this gentleman, who denounced “all religions” and talked over one of the many calls to prayer-for which he was chastised by a Muslim participant in the crowd. Perhaps the Red-Green alliance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as the Mujahadeen e-Khalq learned the hard way.
One of the more disconcerting images from the rally in Foley Square, aside from the representative of CAIR praising the Detroit imam who was shot by the FBI, was the presence of both the mother and father of three men who were part of the terror plot involving an attack upon Fort Dix. Even though they were not given prime speaking slots-as was the mother of one of the men convicted in the Herald Square bomb plot-the fact that their case was used as an illustration of law enforcement overreach led me to question the true motives of those behind this demonstration.
They knew who the real guilty ones were, i.e. the people assisting the prosecution of terrorist suspects:
Many of the speakers denounced the notion of government informants, evoking images of the more widespread stop snitchin’ campaign prevalent among many African-Americans living in urban communities. Overall, it was a slightly dispiriting experience, although it should be noted that there was at least one East Indian speaker who struck a distinctly conciliatory tone, and yet another speaker who went so far as to commemorate the massacres that occurred on September 11th, 2001, albeit only in the context of condemning other atrocities he saw as being of greater magnitude, e.g. the trans-Atlantic slave trade, expulsion of Native Americans from the interior of the country, and countless other sins we still haven’t atoned for as a nation, according to him.
I think that a lot of the issues raised would be resolved by a more sensible immigration policy, as opposed to the ad hoc, needlessly dangerous and stupid philosophy our government currently espouses, but that’s just my opinion. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.