Small gathering protests group's Muslim Family Day at Six Flags
ARLINGTON – Ten anti-terrorism protesters confronted thousands of cars streaming intoon Sunday for a Muslim Family Day.
ELIZABETH M. CLAFFEY/DMNPeter Reyes of (left) and Dorrie O'Brien (right) of Grand Prairie sift through signs Sunday in preparation for a protest of the Islamic Circle of North America's Muslim Family Day at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. The protest was organized by Joe Kaufman (standing, center), chairman of Florida-based , who claims thatICNA has ties to terrorist organizations.
Demonstrators said the sponsor of the event – the Islamic Circle of North America – funds overseas terrorism. Local Muslims denied the accusation.
"There's no evidence to support their claims," said Mohammad Barney, president of the Dallas-area group. "I know that we Americans all have a right to protest, but I wish they would do their homework before spreading lies."
Joe Kaufman, chairman of Florida-based Americans Against Hate, who wore a dark suit and a flag-patterned tie, said he was pleased by the media coverage. There were more reporters than protesters at the event.
"This is a success because the media came out and covered it," said Mr. Kaufman. "That's the way the public get educated about this organization's ... ties to overseas terrorism."
Mr. Kaufman says the was founded three decades ago as an American arm of the terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood of , and funnels money to Hamas.
Protesters walked back and forth near the entrance to the theme park holding signs that read, "Americans Against Hate."
One young man leaned out the window of a gold-colored SUV, pumped his fist, and responded: "Long live Palestine. Long live Palestine."
Brenda Jernigan of Duncanville said she isn't positive the Muslim group holding Sunday's event is tied to terrorism. But she's positive her conservativeare under attack.
"There's a moment when you have to decide whether you're going to do something, even if it's just stand here and hold this sign," she said. "It's a statement that we're just not going to let people come in and take over our country."
Three Arlington police officers stood, arms crossed, and watched the protest. .
Sgt. Robert Vorpahl joked that many visitors to the theme park expressed a form of digital disgust with the protest. "I've seen quite a few hand signs," he said.