WASHINGTON - Leaders of Masjid Muhammad in Northwest D.C. are preparing for an anti-Islamic protest possibly involving thousands of people, according to what mosque leaders were told by the Department of Homeland Security.
This week, leaders of the mosque met and spoke with D.C. police as well as Homeland Security because of possible threats to the mosque.
“A violent protest that may be coming to this particular area,” said Sultan Aziz Muhammad. “There were some religious Islamic facilities identified. Masjid Muhammad was one of those that were identified.”
They were identified by a group that held a large anti-Islamic protest in Phoenix back in May.
Protesters call the movement, The Global Rally For Humanity. On the group's Facebook page, there are plans for protests in D.C. Friday and Saturday.
“These are some strong opinionated individuals about what they believe and we are as well,” said Muhammad.
Someone else who has an opinion is on this is nearby resident Kate Connors. She isn't a member of the mosque, but she took it upon herself to post flyers all around the block in support of Masjid Muhammad.
“Should there be protests, a lot of counter protesters are hoping to come out,” said Connors. “And there's been some conversation about having a community chain to separate the mosque from the protesters.”
Her hope is that the protests don’t happen.
“I also think it's important in America for us to recognize that there is freedom of religion and I don't think anyone should be protested for celebrating their religion,” she said.
Another event also planned for Saturday is the Justice or Else! march, which is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. There is concern the two groups of protesters could clash in D.C. over the weekend.
“If they have a purpose and they want to do their protests, as long as it doesn't interfere with our ability to be able to practice our religion and have our services as normal, then everything is okay for us,” said Sultan Muhammad.
We reached out to the group planning the anti-Islamic protests and are still waiting to hear back from them. It is unclear if they plan to be here both Friday and Saturday.