This weekend, there will be (probably armed) people who call themselves “patriots” gathered outside mosques across the globe. They say that they are rallying for “humanity” but what they need to be doing is finding a dictionary. These rallies have nothing to do with actual humanity.
Deeply involved in this display of jingoistic bullying is one John Ritzheimer. This is the guy who organized the “Draw Mohammed” contest in May. In June, after he organized a “F*ck Islam” protest, he tried to get $10 million from his followers for “protection,” saying that his life was in danger. GoFundMe took his request down.
On a Facebook page for the “Global Rally For Humanity,” Ritzheimer posted a video about the planned rally and how to participate. In it, he encourages participants to bring weapons and go to the closest mosque on the day of the rally; October 10th. While Ritzheimer denies being the “mastermind” of the global rally, he supports it “100 percent.”
There have been Facebook event pages created for several of the protests. The page for the Phoenix rally indicated that 110 people will be attending, with 55 who may be (as of this writing). This, out of 1,200 invited.
Other rallies showed similarly low numbers. The Phoenix event page has the following pinned post:
“Americans who still love liberty and cling to the Constitution.” Ritzheimer loves liberty, all right… for people like him. For white, straight Christian men and women. Everyone else is to be deprived of said liberty.
He says he clings to the Constitution, but I’d bet on a stack of rebel flags that he can’t quote much more than the Second Amendment. And probably only the last part of that.
The disconnect between the name of the rally and the word “humanity” is striking. Humanity, for one thing, means all humans. Yes, all of us. Including humans who are different from you. The inability to see others as humanity, too, is a glaring flaw in the moral fabric of Ritzheimer and his “comrades.”
Humanity also means “the quality or state of being humane.” Is it humane to bully others simply because you can’t — or won’t — understand their religion? No. Of course it’s not.
There is a name for Ritzheimer and his people: xenophobe. They hate and fear (oh, yes you do fear) anything or anyone outside their limited sphere of experience.
So they attack it. What they need to attack is their own bigotry.
They also need to face the fact that, post 9/11, most terrorist acts in the U.S. were committed by American Christians. Homegrown terrorism is a much bigger threat to most Americans than any Islamic jihadist. Ritzheimer and his crowd are going to the wrong place on Saturday. They should be at churches (especially fundamentalist ones) protesting the violence that they inflict.
But he won’t be.
Where he –and everyone else who thinks it’s a keen idea to wave guns and yell at people as they enter their house of worship — will be is at a mosque. Bullying people based on how they worship their God. And drowning irony in a pool of beer afterwards, no doubt. Toasting one another on how humane they have been.
Here’s the video from the Facebook page:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB_o3TpK7mg&w=480&h=360]
Feature Image via Global Rally For Humanity Facebook page