Anti-Islam Rallies Lose Momentum Nationwide But Muslims Are Still Wary

Kirsten Silven - Author
By

Oct. 18 2015, Updated 9:44 p.m. ET

Earlier this month, organizers planned approximately 20 anti-Islam rallies across the U.S., putting Muslims, mosques, local government, and law enforcement officials on high alert, USA Today reported. Community leaders nationwide urged Muslim citizens to take precautions in anticipation the demonstrations could turn violent.

According to Heidi Beirich, who serves as director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the rallies represent a new level of anti-Islam sentiment in the United States.

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“We’ve never had this many events targeting mosques in this kind of national way. This is widespread in a way that these things have not been before.”

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Organized by the deceptively-named Global Rally for Humanity, the demonstrations are a sharp underscore of the growing anti-Islam sentiment in the U.S., which Beirich says has been driven by the refugee crisis in Europe and racist rhetoric on the campaign trail.

The organization asks supporters to create a Facebook page for each protest, which asks supporters to gather in front of “every mosque in the country.” Although the Facebook page does not list a specific contact, the Center for New Community in Chicago named organizer Jon Ritzheimer as the main architect of the protests.

Ritzheimer already staged a heavily armed protest in May of this year outside of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix and said he hoped to see similar events happen nationwide.

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