Islamic group asks counter-protesters to stay away from armed anti-Muslim rally at state Capitol

A state Capitol demonstration featuring loaded rifles and shotguns wouldn't be unprecedented. Above is an AJC file photo from a February 2013 rally.

A state Capitol demonstration featuring loaded rifles, shotguns and other openly carried firearms wouldn’t be unprecedented. Above is an AJC file photo from a February 2013 rally.

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking organizers of an armed, anti-Muslim rally planned for the state Capitol next week to cancel the event.

The sponsor of the protest has promised to stage a “desecration” of the Quran. And is encouraging attendees to bring their loaded “long guns.”

Short of cancellation, the Islamic group is urging Muslims and others “to ignore [the protest] so as to deprive the organizers of the free publicity they seek for their message of hate.”

From the press release:

“Hatred of Muslims and Islam stems from ignorance,” said CAIR-GA Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “We encourage these protesters to put down their guns, cancel their unsanctioned rally, and meet with representatives of our state’s Muslim community for an open and frank discussion of their concerns.”

 “As American Muslims, we do not begrudge our neighbors the right to publicly challenge us or our faith,” said Mitchell. “But as Americans, we should always debate each other in a civil, respectful and safe manner.”

According to the calendar posted on the Georgia Building Authority website, no other major events are scheduled at the Capitol on April 18, the Monday targeted for the unsanctioned protest. We’ve got a call into the GBA to see whether any local school systems are planning student tours of the Capitol for that day.

From the original post by the AJC’s James Salzer:

State Capitol police put out a warning Monday about a Martinez man planning an unpermitted, gun-toting, anti-Islam rally outside the statehouse on April 18.

The organizer has promised to shred a Quran as part of the event.

“The Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Building Authority anticipate a non-permitted, anti-Islamic protest on the sidewalks of the Georgia State Capitol,” said Capitol Police Director Lewis G. Young, in his advisory to state employees. “You are hereby notified that protest organizers have encouraged their participants to carry loaded long guns.

“DPS is currently monitoring the threat risk and, together with GBA, is taking precautions to make Capitol Hill a safe environment,” it continued.

The Georgia Building Authority had earlier turned down a request for a permit for a “United against Islam and Islamic immigration refugee rally” at Liberty Plaza from James Stachowiak, who dubs himself the founder and editor of “Freedom Fighter Radio.”

In a February email obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stachowiak says the rally is to “raise public awareness to what we perceive as a threat to our nation from Islamic immigration and refugees. Also the dangerous agenda of the current administration.

“We plan to have speakers address this or should I say these issues. We also plan to shred images of Obama, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton and Muhammad along with the shredding of the Koran.

“This will be an open carry event with the use of long arms as Georgia law allows.”

Stachowiak said those attending the rally would march on the sidewalks to the front of CNN “and speak again against the threat of Islamic immigration and refugees and the dangerous agenda of the Obama administration.” He added that “A [Quran] will be desecrated on the sidewalks on the public right of away (sic) at the front entrance of CNN.”

Stachowiak predicted 200 would attend.

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