By Michelle Boorstein
(Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
It took me nearly five months to recover from standing in the blazing sun for days waiting to see if Terry Jones, leader of a tiny Florida church, would burn a Koran, and now word has hit that he’s heading for the nation’s capitol.
Jones, who captured the world’s angry attention last fall when he and his curiously-named Dove World Outreach Center church threatened to burn Islam’s holy book, is headed here as I type for what promises to be a weird showdown in front of the White House Thursday. IF it happens.
Some media are reporting that Anjem Choudary, a showy and controversial British Muslim cleric, is staging a rally Thursday afternoon to promote the idea that the United States should be governed by Islamic law. I haven’t been able to reach Choudary’s organization, sharia4america.com, and the Web site asks people to contact them by filling out a form that includes bizarre requirements such as confirming that you never “collaborated with, supported or glorified” any “terrorist” organizations including the U.S., British or Israeli armies.
Jones’ group is riding up from Florida to the rescue, adding an element of what in America can only be called “fame,” and possibly bringing dozens (or more?) people to Obama’s front lawn on Thursday for a counter-protest.
The National Park Service and the Park Service Police said today that they’ve received no requests for permits (which are required for groups over 25 people), and it’s too late to request one at this point, so I’m not sure if this is a hoax. No calls for a permit but Park Service says they have gotten nearly two dozen questions from media organizations, including from some unnamed conservative outlets asking how the Park Service could even consider giving a permit to a group like Choudary’s.
Things are already steaming up and nothing has even happened yet. But we’ll keep you posted.