An anti-Islam group has called on “patriots” to hold demonstrations in front of mosques across the country in October. Responding to the call, protests organized under the name “Global Rally For Humanity” have already been scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10 in at least 20 locations, including Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta; Dearborn, Michigan; and Phoenix, Imagine 2050 reported Tuesday. Some of the organizers have encouraged demonstrators to leave their weapons at home, while others have encouraged participants to utilize their right to bear arms, the website said.
“As this invasion of Muslim colonization continues unchecked on American soil, we can only expect the same suffering now endured by EUROPE [caps sic],” a Facebook page for a protest in Dearborn, a city outside of Detroit with a large Muslim population, said. “Now is the time to act. Now is the time to save our Republic.”
The protests are planned to coincide with an Oct. 10 rally in Washington D.C. that is expected to be headlined by the controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. None of the protests, however, are planned to take place outside Nation of Islam sites. Others reference the Iran nuclear deal, or the U.S. government’s announcement that it will resettle some 100,000 Syrian refugees, as an impetus for the nationwide rallies.
There’s little indication yet of how large the events might be. The group that first called for the rallies had just 791 likes on Facebook as of Wednesday, and many of the planned protests have gained only slim support. Counter-protests were already in the works, as a Facebook page called “Confront the bigots round:2” called on supporters in Phoenix, Arizona, to “stand against fascism in all forms and manifestations.”
An anti-Muslim rally held in front of an Islamic community center in Phoenix in May attracted hundreds of armed protesters, as well as hundreds of counter-protesters, and made international news headlines. Jon Ritzheimer, the organizer of the May protest, said at the time he would like to see similar events in other states, and has endorsed the upcoming October protests on his Facebook page.