On Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 3:45 pm to after 7:00 pm, over 700 protesters held signs, waved flags, and chanted slogans in protest against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitism and her fundraising for the Council on American Islamic Relations' Los Angeles (CAIR-LA) branch at the Hilton in Woodland Hills, California.
Many ideas, philosophies, and religious perspectives animated the attendees but they were united in resistance to Islamism. Here were some of the most prominent and unforgettable:
- Sabo's Street Art Experience – The rebellious LA-based activist known as Sabo laid the backdrop for the protest. He struck again at a bus stop near the Hilton:
Sabo's work emphasized the role CAIR plays in silencing free speech about Islam and Islamism
While not subtle, this poster notes the reality that lawful Islamism of the kind promoted by CAIR protects and inevitably results in violence.
- The Patriotic Experience –American flags in all forms and sizes dominated the counter-Islamist protest reminding us this is an American issue first and foremost:
- The Zionist Experience –Some protestors chose to stand with Israel and the American-Israel alliance, and wore yellow "Jude" stars to emphasize the ultimate danger of the anti-Semitism that Islamists and their supporters promote:
- The Spectacle Experience – Two protest banners –placed by internet activist Laura Loomer– launched from high balconies in the Hilton with blue and white confetti, the top said "ILHAN HATES ISRAEL" the bottom: "CAIR HATES JEWS":
Guests @HiltonHotels taking part in the Pro-American and pro #Israel rally against @IlhanMN and #CAIR taking place in Los Angeles where #IlhanOmar is fundraising for the American Muslim Brotherhood organization known as the Council of American Islamic Relationship (CAIR) pic.twitter.com/eLVgJz0FaM
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) March 24, 2019
Loomer and her cameraman emerge to film interviews:
- The MAGA Experience –Lots of red Trump hats, T-shirts, and signs:
- The Smash Anti-Semitism Experience –Many protesters made Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitism the focus of their protests:
Orange County-based activist and blogger Gary Fouse shows one of his signs.
- The Tea Party Experience –The yellow Gadsden flag made plenty of appearances:
- The Christian Experience– Christian and Jewish solidarity was a major emphasis of the protest.
- The Armenian Experience– a lone protester holds a sign referencing the Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks beginning in 1915. In recent years domestic Islamist groups have allied with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, leading to the promotion of Turkey's propaganda denying the Genocide:
- The Anti-Sharia Experience– protestors emphasize CAIR's history of promoting Islamic law:
"Say 'no Sharia Law'!" protestors yell:
One of the common signs at the rally compared Omar's pro-Islamist anti-Semitism with historic Nazi anti-Semitism:
- The Counter-Islamism on the Campaign Trail Experience– congressional candidate Mark Reed made an appearance to denounce Omar and indicating that Pro-Islamist and counter-Islamist sentiments are increasingly becoming an election issue in local, state and national races:
- The Counter-Protester Experience – CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush meets with what would become two dozen counter-protesters, some from an inter-faith group:
- The Emotions Run High Experience – Eight police officers grouped around the north end of the protests at 6:45 pm as a protestor and counter-protestor – both apparently originally from Iran – got into a heated argument about Sharia law as practiced in Iran:
While emotional, the counter-Islamist protestor from Iran's personal experience with Islamist theocracy is a reminder of the broad spectrum of experiences among those opposing Islamists in the U.S.
- The "Never Again" Experience–Three of the yellow paper Jude stars discarded on the ground are recovered, and saved as a reminder that to oppose Islamism and the anti-Semitism that accompanies it, we must raise our voices: