Anti-Islam rally draws counter protestors to Georgia Capitol
ATLANTA - Organizers had called for hundreds of people to join them, but instead only two people showed up to participate in an anti-Islam rally outside the State Capitol Monday.
James Stachowiak, an Augusta-area podcaster, planned the event and said his main message was that the United States should stop taking in Muslim refugees and focus on better care for military veterans.
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"It's about time that we take care of America's needs," Stachowiak told the crowd. "Even though they may be in a plight, we have a plight in our cities."
The only other rally participant was controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones, who has drawn international criticism for burning the Koran in the past.
This time Jones ripped pages out of the holy text.
"This book promotes violence. It promotes racism. It promotes oppression and that is why we destroy it, because it deserves to be destroyed," explained Jones.
Stachowiak had asked for people to show up armed. He carried both a long gun and a sidearm during the event.
"I'm not calling for the death of muslims OK? But yet I guarantee you there'll be people calling for my death and Terry's death because of our actions," Stachowiak explained. "I'm [going to] protect myself against attacks."
Some counter protestors yelled back at the men and tried to argue against their points. Others said the two protestors mischaracterized Islam in an effort to spread hate.
Capitol police officers and state troopers were on standby just feet from the event to make sure it did not get out of hand.