Andy Crashes ISNA Party in Search of Imam Rauf
I want to let all my well wishers and those blessed people offering me prayers of protection that God has answered your prayers. Not only were the men of the ISNA not approaching me but it looked like to me like they were afraid to. It wasn’t till I started to talk to some very sweet Muslim women that a very agitated man named Sayed confronted me and said ” What is all this anti-Islam sentiment about? “Where am I being anti-Islam ” I replied he pointed to my red white and blue hard hat with the Twin Towers on it. I told him nose to nose” Don’t forget what country you are in friend …this is America not Mecca and these colors are welcomed anywhere on this soil” He stepped back and called for security. Now several Muslims came to back up his associate. I found the biggest guy there which was still not bigger then me and asked ” Can I help you?” The man’s name was Ahmed and he was the supposed muscle of the convention. I could tell because as he got closer to me all the others made way for him. I looked at him with my best smile and said “ hey there Ikwan ( Brother) what can I do for you?” ” Why are you harassing our women and scaring our group leaders?” I told my new friend ” Ahmed the women started talking to me first and it was the polite thing to do to respond back to them. “I’m really not sure how you guys treat your women but I’m guessing it ain’t so good” the man’s face became a mask of rage and I began to see the whites of his cigarette-stained teeth. His chest began heaving and nostrils flaring it took all my control to keep from laughing in the man’s face.
Hotel security made their way over to the very intense crowd that began to gather around me and my new friend. The man from the hotel said to me ” You cannot be here and protest this event they have rented out the space.” I said ” Sir, I am staying here and we are in the lobby of the Hotel. I am completely alone amongst thousands of Muslims where is my protest? I’m just having a conversation with my new friend Ahmed.” It was at this point I thought I saw the man begin to twitch. Suddenly my manager goes right up to the Hotel security man and asked ” Do you have a problem with him being in the lobby?” He reponds “No, we have no problems at all, what we have a problem with is hate speech.” “What makes you think he’s spreading hate speech? Sounds like your judging him by how he looks.” Realizing he has really stepped in it he recoils back to his station knowing he is way out of his league dealing with my dear friend who is not to be trifled with.
As the entire convention started to drift towards us and the scene of the confrontation I began to loudly say “Where is Imam Rauf?!” he is not seeing anyone is the response I kept getting to which I replied “But this is his Pro Ground Zero Mosque Tour…why will he not answer questions on it?” I’m here all by myself what threat do I pose?”
After this whole incident started to break up I could hear the whispers of pssst there’s that hard hat guy and was smiling inwardly as I walked right through the entire convention on the way back to my room.