The scene outside the National Cathedral this afternoon.
Jingoistic bikers sure know how to create an incendiary Facebook event.
The group “2 Million Bikers to DC” advertised an event on Facebook candidly titled “Bikers vs. Muslims at the National Cathedral.” Today’s event was described as a “PEACEFUL protest agains the Islamization of America” and had more than 100 RSVPs. It was intended to protest the first-ever Muslim prayer service this afternoon at the National Cathedral.
But, despite some rallying cries on the Facebook page to bring “signs, flags, and bullhorns,” no bikers actually showed up. There was one reported protestor who interrupted the service and was escorted out, though it doesn’t appear she was part of this group. One employee outside the National Cathedral said, based on the Facebook event, officials were expecting more protesters, but that the woman who interrupted the service was the only one spotted.
City Desk checked out the scene outside the cathedral at 1 p.m.—the protest was slated to go from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.—and it was quiet, with just the occasional person walking through the grounds.
Every September, the “2 Million Bikers to DC” ride to the District to honor the victims, survivors, and first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2013, the group’s annual ride had a second purpose: to counter-protest a march led by the American Muslim Political Action Committee. That rally was intended to protest discrimination against Muslims since Sept. 11.
“Obama can kiss my ass,” one biker told City Desk last year.
The bikers weren’t the only people upset about the Muslim service. The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, spoke out against today’s event at the National Cathedral on Facebook yesterday, writing, “It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins.”
Photo by Perry Stein