Americans Against Hate stages protest against ICNA terror ties at Six Flags Over Texas
October 15, 2007
Muslim family day at Six Flags goes off OK
By CYNTHIA NEFF
ARLINGTON -- Ten to 15 people held signs and stood outside the entrance to Six Flags Over Texas on Sunday afternoon to protest a family day organized by the North Texas Islamic community. A group of three to nine other people showed up, possibly to counter protest, but the two-hour protest was peaceful, police said.
Inside the park, hundreds of families celebrated with halal food and prayers during an event sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America and other area Muslim groups.
Some of the groups were granted a temporary restraining order Friday against the organizer of the protest, Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans Against Hate. The order prohibited him from threatening, harming or inciting violence against anyone associated with the outing, according to court records.
Jamal Qaddura, president of the DFW Islamic Educational Center and a spokesman for the local Muslim community, said 9,000 tickets were sold. The number of people who attended could not be confirmed with Six Flags officials Sunday.
"If you come inside here, you will see families and children," Qaddura said. "This is just a family gathering. We are a peaceful organization."
Kaufman contends that the Islamic Circle supports terrorist organizations overseas. He gave a short speech in which he said the Islamic Circle of North America has ties to the terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan and has donated thousands of dollars to Hamas.
Supporters of the Islamic Circle deny any such connections. "Everything he's saying is false," Qaddura said. "The members are law-abiding U.S. citizens, and this man has no right to come here and call us terrorists."
Kaufman said he was served with the temporary restraining order shortly after the protest began, about 12:30 p.m.
According to the temporary restraining order, Kaufman has used his Web site to allege that the groups are "radical Muslims" who used the family event to spread "anti-Western hatred."
The suit calls for Kaufman to appear at a hearing Oct. 22 to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be made a temporary injunction.
This article includes material from Star-Telegram archives.
Rally small but well recorded
Arlington: Reporters outnumber protesters at Muslim day at Six Flags
Monday October 15
By SCOTT FARWELL / The Dallas Morning News
ARLINGTON – Ten anti-terrorism protesters confronted thousands of cars streaming into Six Flags Over Texas on Sunday for a Muslim Family Day.
ELIZABETH M. CLAFFEY/DMNMuhammad Khan (left) tried to videotape Joe Kaufman (right), who led the protest Sunday at Muslim Family Day at Six Flags Over Texas. Paul Kramer blocks Mr. Khan with a protest sign, and Mr. Kaufman pulled out his own video recorder.
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 Islamic Circle of North America was founded three decades ago as an American arm of the terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan, 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 conservative Christian values are 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.