Volume 20, Number 41 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 6 - 12, 2010
New group appears to denounce Park51
BY Aline Reynolds
A handful of Park51 protestors gathered on the corner of West Broadway and Park Place Wednesday morning, denouncing Sharia law and calling Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s motives into question.
They were carrying signs – one had a graphic image of an Indonesian girl decapitated by Islamic terrorists and another read, “Sharia law: a peaceful religion?”
“We’re asking Imam Rauf to publicly stand against the threats [from Muslim leaders] that have come upon us for tearing up passages of the Koran,” said Randall Terry, president of the Society for Truth and Justice, the group that led the opposition. It was S.T.J.’s first Park51 protest in New York City.
The demonstrators called on Imam Rauf and the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ executive director, Nihad Awad, to publicly speak out against the recent persecution of Christians worldwide since the recent string of Koran protests in America.
With respect to Park51, building a mosque so close to Ground Zero is “a bad idea,” Terry said.
“I think it shows not only a level of insensitivity to people, but the very name Cordoba resonates with Islamic political leadership and Islamic religious dominance.”
Though he didn’t say whether he would be for or against moving Park51, he said, “There’s a connection in mosques around the world to terrorism, obviously.”
Terry went on to denounce Sharia law, saying, “The point is Sharia law by definition is oppressive to human rights, and if this Imam will not publicly declare that he supports the U.S. Constitution over all elements of Sharia law, then he is an agent for Sharia law by his silence.”
The Imam has publicly stated, however, that Sharia doctrines are the same as America’s core values, namely the right to life and freedom of religion.
Terry said he had no plans to schedule a joint protest with the prominent Park51 opponent Pamela Geller, but that he “loved what she did” in organizing the Stop Islamization of America Protest in Lower Manhattan on the ninth anniversary of 9/11.
Terry and a few other conservative Christians publicly tore out pages of the Koran near the White House in Washington, D.C. on 9/11.
"Part of why we're doing that [is] the charade that Islam is a peaceful religion must end," he said to the Associated Press.
Terry and his fellow supporters will demonstrate in front of C.A.I.R.’s national headquarters in D.C. on Thursday. He is otherwise known for his longstanding pro-life activism, sometimes taken to the extreme. According to written sources, he was arrested in the 1980s for chaining himself to a sink at an abortion clinic.