A team of radical Muslims who, under the banner of Shariah4America today abruptly canceled their plan for a pro-Shariah rally at the White House, instead announced on their website plans to cover the Statue of Liberty with a burkha.
Islamists' plans for Statue of Liberty
"The Statue of Liberty, designed by Frederic Bartholdi, stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor; representing Libertas, the Roman (false) goddess of Freedom, it is symbolic of the rebellious nature of the U.S. Constitution that elevates the command of man over the command of God," the organization announced.
"In Islam, the public veneration of idols and statues is strictly prohibited. This has forced sincere Muslims to develop realistic plans that will aid in the removal of the Statue of Liberty.
"Due to the scale of the task at hand, it is highly likely that rigorous safety checks will need to be employed before the demolition of the Statue of Liberty can commence; thus as a temporary measure, it is proposed that a large burkha is used to cover the statue, thereby shielding this horrendous eye sore from public view as well as sending a strong message to its French creators," the website proclaimed.
"Post demolition, it is recommended that a minaret be built as a fitting replacement, allowing the glorification of God to be proclaimed daily as well as act as a powerful reminder of the superiority of Islam over all other ways of life," the site said.
The gathering had been announced by radical British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary and his two assistants, Sayful Islam and Abu Izzadeen. It was to be in front of the White House and "respond" to the "demand" for Shariah, or Islamic law, across the United States.
However, Choudary posted a video explaining why the event couldn't take place.
He said his message of "inviting the people as an act of worship to accept Islam" has been "distorted," so that "it is better to postpone the call for the Shariah in Washington."
"We will be postponing the protest … although the call for the Shariah is a universal one and it must be implemented immediately," he said.
Denouncing the idea
Meanwhile, a band of conservative organizations calling themselves the Liberty Alliance Coalition assembled in Washington's Lafayette Park and denounced the attempt to advance Shariah in the United States.
The coalition is headed by Center for Security Policy Director Frank Gaffney who says Islamic law is the opposite of the Constitution and that it's time Americans get involved to oppose what was described as an attack on the Constitution.
Gaffney said one reason for the impromptu assembly was to tell America that the events overseas will have a ripple effect in the U.S.
"Based on several things that have been happening lately, most obviously what is taking place overseas with the Muslim Brotherhood's operations and ambitions," Gaffney explained.
He also took aim at the Islamophobia forum on Capitol Hill.
"It's also to talk about the conference that took place yesterday on Capitol Hill, denouncing me among others for engaging in some kind of 'cottage industry of hate,' in the name of Islamophobia," Gaffney continued.
He said it's alarming that radical Muslims want to lobby for Shariah.
"We're … here because of the possibility that Anjem Choudary was going to be trying to speak today from this spot, about the importance of bringing Shariah law to America," Gaffney emphasized.
"We simply thought this was an opportunity to bring some people together to talk about the issue and give them some of the facts they need to understand the danger that those who are with the Muslim Brotherhood, working on its behalf, or in any other way, seeking to impose Shariah law on us," he said.
Gaffney said Shariah takes away, not protects, rights.
"You don't need to be a constitutional expert to understand that where women have no rights, they can't drive, they can't vote, they can't protect their property. They can be divorced on the whim of their husband. Their testimony is worth only half of that of a man. If they're raped they have to have four witnesses. It goes on-and-on-and-on," Gaffney said.
"This is one example of how Shariah treats women in a way that is completely contrary to our Constitution and their rights under it. This is the sort of thing that I believe, as the American people become more and more aware that there really are people, either through violent means or through stealth, who are trying to impose that other, very different, unconstitutional program on us. They'll get it and they'll want to resist it at every turn," he said.
Three others on hand were Mary Michaels, Richard Braun and a man calling himself "Joe Citizen."
Michaels said she came to help awaken America to the danger of Shariah. She said she's seeing signs the movement is advancing.
"It's already being imposed by increments. It's like death by a thousand paper cuts. For instance, 'South Park,' they bowed down to Shariah. By them not airing that episode, covering up Muhammad, there were threats against them. The guy who made the threats just got 25 years," Michaels stated.
"The cartoonist Molly Norris had to go ghost and into hiding because she had that 'Draw Muhammad Day'. It's incremental and yes there are already Shariah courts in New Jersey," Michaels maintained.
Braun said he came to refute Choudary.
"Originally Choudary was going to be here saying how the Constitution should be replaced by Shariah law and that's totally anti-American," Braun said. "Shariah law says you must discriminate. Muslims are better than non-Muslims
and men are better than women, etc. And that's totally un-American. I'm an American and I'm not going to let it stand."
'All over the place'
Braun said he believes that "creeping Shariah" is a reality.
"It's happening all over the place. You've got communities which are Shariah compliant, the Treasury Department had Islamic Banking 101, and people were taught how to make our financial system Shariah compliant. I could go on," Braun said.
"Joe Citizen" of the "Joe Citizen Show," noted Oklahoma's vote rejecting Shariah.
"There is no end in sight for Islam. It's forever expansionist and it's not over until the world is Shariah compliant. They (Choudary's rally) were going to come out here and demand Shariah law in the United States. I thought this was as good a place as any for the American resistance. When I say resistance I mean the different resistance groups to creeping Shariah and stealth jihad," Joe Citizen stated.
Controversial "Burn a Quran Day" preacher Terry Jones, the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, came to the press conference but was immediately repudiated and removed from the event by the Liberty Alliance members with the assistance of park rangers.
Jones announced: "I am the founder of Stand-Up America Now! and we have come here today to protest, although it was a counter protest. We have come here basically for two reasons: Number one is a message of welcome and number two is a message of warning.
"Muslims who are here in our country legally, are of course protected by our Constitution. They are welcome to be here and they are welcome to worship; they are welcome to build mosques," Jones stated. "We welcome them into our country. That is our message of welcome."
His warning was: "We do not welcome Shariah law. Muslims that are here in our country, we expect for them to honor, obey and submit to the Constitution of the United States. If they desire to replace our Constitution, to alter our Constitution, to institute Shariah, they are no longer welcome in America."
Message of welcome
"Our message today is one of welcome. They are protected by our Constitution. But it is also one of warning not to try to institute Shariah, not to try to do what they are right now doing in Europe. We see right now the widespread of Islam, of radical Islam, of Shariah, especially in countries like Germany, in Holland and in England," Jones emphasized.
Jones added a comment about Choudary.
"We were to meet here Mr. Choudary. He has decided to cancel. I believe what happened to him was that he met the American spirit. And I believe he cowarded out. By no means as an American will we allow that form of government, that form of violence and injustice to prevail in the United States of America," he said.