the Columbus Courthouse Rally …. crowd was energized and respectful . . . a testimony to grass roots activism of Rifqa’s supporters and the power of blogging especially that of organizer, Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs.
by Jerry Gordon, The Iconoclast, November 20, 2009
Alan Kornman, a colleague and leader in the ACT! for America Orlando chapter and Radio Jihad co-host, spoke with us about what transpired at the Rally for Rifqa on Monday, November 16th. The rally went ahead as scheduled despite the adjournment until December 27th of a custody hearing involving Rifqa. This report basically questioned the figures of those who attended and content of the Columbus Dispatch Report we posted. The hundreds, who attended, many driving thousands of miles to attend the Rally for Rifqa, was a palpable testimony to the broad reach of Pamela Geller and her blog Atlas Shrugs.
Watch these videos of the Free Rifqa Bary Rally, here.
Kornman, who with sidekick, Mark Campbell filmed the Rally, estimated the crowd in the park across the street from the Franklin County Courthouse at in excess of 250 persons. Campbell had been involved in development of recent stunning video disclosures of the Sri Lankan death threats revealed by Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council – see our post. Kornman said that the crowd consisted of devotees of Geller’s Atlas Shrugs blog, some of whom came from as far away as California, South Carolina and Florida. Among the Florida contingent were the intrepid Jacksonville Chapter stalwarts led by Randy McDaniels. Eric McDaniels provided the sound equipment for the rally. There was a strong Evangelical Christian contingent exemplified by the Gainesville, Florida Dove World church members who wore those “Islam is the Devil” tee shirts.
Kornman said that no Muslim counter-protesters showed. The police presence there was discrete, although Kornman noted observers on the roof of the Courthouse.
Overall, Kornman said that the crowd was energized and respectful. Among the speakers were:
* · Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs;
* · Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch;
* · Nonie Darwish , colleague and co-founder of Former Muslims United;
* · Jim Lafferty, Islamic Saudi Academy protest colleague from Traditional Values Coalition;
* · Pastor Jamal Jivanjee, stalwart friend of Rifqa’s;
* · Simon Deng, ex-Sudanese slave.
Kornman noted Andrew Bostom, acclaimed author of The Legacy of Jihad and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, who was attending a professional medical meeting in Columbus, generously treated several of the speakers and protest attendees for a post rally dinner.
Kornman found Deng’s remarks particularly arresting as he spoke with the authenticity of a victim of Sharia as a survivor of Islamist razzias in war torn Southern Sudan. When articulate and fervent friend of Rifqa, Pastor Jivanjee, asked the crowd to pray for Rifqa’s safety and ultimate freedom the evangelical Christians rose one am, as a traditional form of blessing. The Columbus Dispatch account of the rally featured a photo of an attendee caught in a prayerful pose clutching a Free Rifqa poster, that some misguided observers bizarrely construed as a ‘Nazi salute’. Was that purposeful I asked Kornman? Kornman thought it might have been inadvertent.
A few of the more intrepid attendees at the Rifqa Rally in Columbus on Sunday prior to the event visiting the Noor Islamic Center encountering President Hany Saqr- who had been tied to the Muslim Brotherhood by counter terrorism investigator, Patrick Poole. We will bring you that story when it breaks in a subsequent post.
Kornman noted that the Columbus Courthouse Rally for Rifqa last Monday was a testimony to grass roots activism of Rifqa’s supporters and the power of blogging especially that of organizer, Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs.