Most New Yorkers-especially natives-are inured to the daily spectacle which makes their city something of a super-sized freak show. However, most of the time that sideshow is of the sort one normally expects to see in Coney Island, i.e. entertaining enough as a diversionary pursuit, but not so garish or mind-altering as to force you to reconsider your general opinion of humanity.
However, every year the United Nations General Assembly-the Mos Eisley Cantina of international diplomacy-convenes in Turtle Bay so that ostensible heads of state from around the world can make pompous, almost universally forgettable speeches before an assembled crowd of profligate diplomats, spies, Islamic terrorists, despots and indicted war criminals, among other political luminaries you would expect to find addressing an institution that was once headed by a man complicit in Nazi Germany’s numerous war atrocities in the Balkans.
Of course, because this collection of malefactors great and small decides to make New York City the backdrop for political theater-bankrolled by American taxpayers, of course-it means that the normally colorful streets of New York are graced with an even more eclectic selection of humanity. Including, as you’ll notice by glancing at the photograph atop this page, fans of newly elected Egyptian pharaoh and fan of sharia law Mohammed Morsi.
The first sight that greeted me before arriving at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza was, oddly enough, a group of fervent devotees-including the group of veiled women seen above-of the Muslim Brotherhood, i.e. the organization that’s served as the intellectual seedbed of virtually every pan-Islamic jihadist and/or terrorist movement that’s arisen over the past century. I know what you must be thinking at this point: “Ain’t multiculturalism grand?”
This being a free country, where everyone is allowed to voice his or her opinion-for the most part, at least-there were two bold Egyptian Christians willing to counter the Islamic supremacist perspective espoused by Mohammed Morsi’s New York welcoming committee.
One of the interesting aspects of this small band of counter-protestors was their devotion to their native land. Like Ashraf Ramelah, they obviously consider themselves true Egyptians, even if their Muslim countrymen vigorously disagree with that assessment.
A slightly more baffling sight confronted me as I made my way deeper into the protest pen cordoned off by the NYPD. I’m not quite certain why the man above chose the United Nations for his platform-which seemed to focus upon the inerrancy of Biblical prophecy-although he undoubtedly could have had a feisty conversation about millenarianism with one of the UN’s featured speakers this week.
Needless to say, there were individuals and groups there with a much less eschatological message, one of the most prominent among them being exponents of Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa teachings. In addition to practicing their meditative exercises, these Chinese men and women-most of whom probably can’t return to their homeland, for obvious reasons-highlighted the torture-such as that depicted in the drawings above-experienced by Falun Gong practitioners at the hands of the Chinese regime.
In addition to the routine harassment and imprisonment experienced by anyone in the People’s Republic of China expressing political, philosophical or spiritual beliefs not sanctioned by the ruling Chinese Communist Party oligarchy, Falun Gong adherents have the misfortune of being perceived as an organized political opposition.
One need only glance at the starkness of contrast between the two photos seen above in order to grasp the horrors inflicted upon ordinary Chinese citizens who run afoul of the their government’s perverse political priorities.
While I don’t have enough information about the subject to state, without reservation, that Falun Gong is “good,” I do know enough to assert that the state which persecutes its followers-and is responsible for the tableau seen in the photograph below-is not.
And although Chinese dissidents were well represented on Wednesday, the vast majority of protestors were assembled to rally against the current Iranian regime, which most regard as criminal in nature, if not so ghastly as to invoke images of one of cinematic horror’s most reviled figures.
One of the more striking features of the anti-IRI activities this week was the artistic dimension of the protests. Some of the efforts seemed redolent of typical political agitprop, using a caricature of Ahmadinejad’s physical features while pointing out the bloody hands of the current president…
As well as his well-publicized Holocaust denial, which was tied into the Iranian regime’s somewhat implausible claims about its nuclear program.
That said, there were some clever, less obvious mockeries of Ahmadinejad, such as the “I’m with stupid” cut-out seen below.
As well as the doormat with the dictator’s face emblazoned upon it, created by United Against a Nuclear Iran, a nonpartisan organization founded by former ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace, which is dedicated to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
One of their campaigns, prior to Ahmadinejad’s arrival in New York, was a call to boycott the Warwick Hotel, which hosted the Iranian leader’s large entourage while he was staying in the Big Apple. Personally, I don’t find the Warwick’s decision nearly as objectionable as the one that allowed he and his cronies to set foot on American soil.
The “silent” partnership alluded to in the above poster is a reference to the unusual relationship between the Iranian regime and the leadership of Al Qaeda, much of which sought refuge in Iran after the September 11th attacks. Although the nature of this relationship is a matter of great dispute, the fact that Iran has been willing to support Afghan, Sunni insurgents-including the Taliban-with both tactics and weaponry is something to consider before dismissing the allegation out of hand.
One of the chief organizers of the protests against the clerical dictatorship of Iran was Iran 180. The UNwelcome campaign consisted of a combination of street theater and personal testimony from Iranian-Americans about the true nature of the Khomeinist regime.
FWIW, I felt some sympathy for the individual inside of the gigantic mock head, especially considering the unusually warm temperature that day. I do credit his enthusiasm-possibly the most entertaining part of this street theater being his pantomiming bass-playing on what I think was intended to be a machine gun as For Whom The Bell Tolls played in the background.
One of the costumed personages represented the real ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. Under velayat-e-faqih, he-along with an equally undemocratic clique of obscurantist Shiite clerics and politically connected hacks-determines the course of Iranian domestic and foreign affairs, as recent events demonstrate.
One of the main, if largely unspoken, themes of the rally was the incestuous relationship between the IRI and the blood-soaked Baathist regime which currently rules Syria. Although the alliance between the government of Iran and that of Syria has been in place for over three decades-virtually since the inception of the Islamic Republic-the imminent threat of Bashar al-Assad’s political demise has forced that blood pact into the open. In fact, the symbiotic nature of the relationship has become so transparent that even Iran’s leading officials have trouble denying it.
Even though foreign policy played a prominent role in Iran 180’s demonstration, there was also a lengthy exposition of the domestic crimes of the Iranian regime, especially with respect to religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities. Gigi Nikpour, the woman seen above, described how the clerical regime which controls Iran had institutionalized many of the canonical aspects of Islam, including Koranic injunctions against homosexuality. These religious proscriptions are not merely theoretical points of discussion, as the scores of gay men and lesbians executed by the theocratic regime in Tehran illustrate.
This is yet another reason why the ubiquitous creeping sharia the rest of the country has just become aware of poses such an ominous threat. It seeks not only to regulate and/or circumscribe our thoughts and speech, but dictate the most minute aspects of our private lives and daily behavior, and eliminate those activities its enforcers deem contrary to the tenets of Islam.
In our next post we’ll explore one of the groups that helped propel these Koran-thumping megalomaniacs to power in Iran, but who soon found that the enemies of Islam are manifold, and subject to arbitrary changes depending upon the needs and political whims of the revolution.