Marine Stands for 1st Amendment – Draw Mohammed Event in Arizona Today
Jon Ritzheimer is a Marine, an anti-Islam activist and biker. Ritzheimer and fellow organizer Flash Nelson, are hosting what is billed as a peaceful demonstration at the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix, Arizona on May 29.
Freedom of Speech Rally Round 2
The biker event, organized on FaceBook, has been dubbed ‘Freedom of Speech Rally Round 2’. The bikers will gather today, May 29th, at the Islamic Center at 6:15 pm, the time of evening prayers.
The Phoenix Islamic Community Center is where Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi worshipped, prior to being killed May 3rd outside a ‘Draw Mohammed’ contest in Garland, Texas, organized by anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller.
The bikers plan to draw pictures of Mohammed outside of the mosque. Muslims consider depictions of Mohammed blasphemous. Simpson and Soofi, who attempted Jihad in Garland, had no direct link to the Islamic State but were sympathetic to its cause.
Ritzheimer, who has demonstrated with an American flag while wearing a sidearm and a t-shirt declaring ‘F#%K ISLAM’ says the T-shirts will be available to participants. Ritzheimer said,
“There’s going to be plenty of them. I have a whole fresh order coming to the rally.”
Continuing, Ritzheimer told reporters,
“I want this to be about pushing out the truth about Islam. I’ve read the Koran three times… the ones flying the planes into the tower, those are Muslims following the book as it is written.”
On the events FaceBook page Ritzheimer further explained his motivation,
“This is in response to the recent attack in Texas where 2 armed terrorist, with ties to ISIS, attempted Jihad. Everyone is encouraged to bring American Flags and any message that you would like to send to the known acquaintances of the 2 gunmen……………..
“People are also encouraged to utilize their second amendment right just in case our first amendment right comes under much anticipated attack.”
Arizona is an open carry state.
In another FaceBook post Ritzheimer wrote,
“This is not about race or any other side agenda that the Liberals are making it out to be.”
“This is purely 100% a Freedom of Speech Rally. Stand Tall and show that we can PEACEFULLY protest our rights that are under attack. That is the sole cause for this Rally and Islam wants to silence us.”
Appearing on CNN’s Anderson Cooper show, Ritzheimer said,
“Well, I’m really trying to achieve exposing Islam and the truth about what’s written in the Koran. … Some would even probably argue that the signers that signed the Declaration of Independence was a bad idea, back in their day.”
“I just don’t want to live in fear. I shouldn’t have to live in fear.”
Ritzheimer understands the danger. He is worried for his family. Ritzheimer said,
“Well, we’ve received a bunch of credible threats. I’ve already had the police come to my house. My family is currently packing up and they are going into hiding.”
“True Islam is terrorism. The ones that are out committing these atrocities, they are following the book as it’s written.”
The Phoenix Islamic Center was chosen as the protest site because would be Jihadists Simpson and Soofi worshipped there. However, per Islamic Center officials, the two have not attended since 2010.
Usama Shami, the president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, is aware of the event. Shami has been contacted by both local police and the FBI. Confirming that prayer services are scheduled to go on as planned, Shami encouraged members to attend despite the scheduled demonstration. Saying,
“Everybody has a right to be a bigot. Everybody has a right to be a racist. Everybody has a right to be an idiot.”
Denny’s and Wild Bill’s say, ‘Please No’
Denny’s, and Wild Bill’s have requested they not be used for pre-event staging nor any type of after event. Most of the FaceBook posts are condemning the event as hate mongering.
Arizona Biker Group Holding Draw Mohammed Contest, ISIS Operative Linked To Garland Calls For Attack… SITE’s… http://t.co/pUUqi6bAgi
— Conservatives (@ConservativAOLA) May 29, 2015
Thursday evening, Ritzheimer posted on the event’s FaceBook page,
This is the America that you who are against me want. You condone threats made to me and my family over a stupid cartoon. I have made no threats. I am simply bringing to light that our freedom of speech is under attack and this proves my case. I don’t think anyone should have to go into hiding for doing anything peaceful.
This is not an Anti Islam Rally. This is a Pro Freedom of Speech Rally so don’t let the media twist it. I admit that what I am doing is stupid but so is stomping on the American flag and I support their rights and freedom to do so. That’s what’s supposed to make our country great.
I will be at the Rally for a short time only because my address has been posted and my family has been threatened. That should sadden any true American. I hope our law makers can earn their paychecks and come up with better legislation that reinforces our first amendment.
Again, I am hoping peace can be maintained between all the parties planning to attend tomorrow. President Obama said “The future must not belong to those who insult Islam.” I am asking him to change his statement to “The future must belong to those who have the FREEDOM to insult Islam if they want.” For those of you who are in support of this Rally, I thank you and I hope none of you have to endure what I am going through over this stupid rally.
Bikers, Muslims, guns…….what could possibly go wrong.
— Jordan Denari (@jdenari) May 28, 2015