Republican presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are doing their best to stoke the flames of anti-Muslim sentiments throughout the nation. The latest result of such hatred and bigotry is taking the form of an armed anti-Islam rally to be held on April 18 at the Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta.
In February, the organizer of the rally, James Stachowiak wrote an email in which he stated that the purpose of the rally is to, “raise public awareness to what we perceive as a threat to our nation from Islamic immigration and refugees. Also the dangerous agenda of the current administration. We plan to have speakers address this or should I say these issues. We also plan to shred images of Obama, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton and Muhammad along with the shredding of the Koran. This will be an open carry event with the use of long arms as Georgia law allows.”
The Georgia Building Authority had turned down the permit request but Steve Stancil, the head of GBA did not give any specific reason for the denial of permit to Stachowiak.
To dispel the ongoing myths about Islam, the Georgia chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is opening its mosque to the public for a peaceful event to educate the visitors about the true teachings of Islam. The event will be held on April 16 at the Baitul Ata mosque in Norcross.
In a press release issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Georgia Chapter the organization is calling on the anti-Islam protesters to cancel the rally and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with the Muslim neighbors.
“Hatred of Muslims and Islam stems from ignorance,” said CAIR-GA Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “We encourage these protesters to put down their guns, cancel their unsanctioned rally, and meet with representatives of our state’s Muslim community for an open and frank discussion of their concerns.”
“As American Muslims, we do not begrudge our neighbors the right to publicly challenge us or our faith,” said Mitchell. “But as Americans, we should always debate each other in a civil, respectful and safe manner.”
Violence is never the correct way to settle any differences. The actions of extremist Muslims, such as, ISIS and Al-Qaeda have indeed painted Islam in a negative picture but American Muslims are giving their best to elucidate the fact that Islam is a religion of peace.
If the rally goes forward as planned, CAIR-GA is urging Muslims and others to ignore it so as to deprive the organizers of the free publicity they seek for their message of hate.
“The Holy Quran instructs Muslims to respond to evil with something better, so that friendship can arise between us and those who hate us,” said Mitchell. “I call on all Georgia mosques, Islamic organizations and residents to redouble outreach efforts as a positive response to this hate rally.”
To join the event at Baitul Ata mosque in Norcross register at firstname.lastname@example.org.