(Hancock, Islamberg NY), Residents of Islamberg have been vigilant on the heels of a Facebook video rant made by Jon Ritzheimer, American Taliban, on November 18, 2015. Replete with numerous expletives, and brandishing a pistol in the video, he threatened to drive all the way to New York to see those Muslims who called him a terrorist.
The Muslims of America (TMOA) and its media partner, The Islamic Post, Inc., collaborated with federal, state and local police officials, who increased patrols around its American villages, particularly Islamberg, located 45 miles southeast of Binghamton, NY. The organization met with authorities around the clock to secure the safety of its congregation. TMOA demanded the immediate arrest and detention of Jon Ritzheimer of Phoenix, AZ.
Ritzheimer’s video rant is in violation of the FACE Act, which is the federal law that protects houses of worship from those who “intentionally injure, intimidate or interfere with or attempt to injure or intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship,” as cited (18 United States Code 248).
“Ritzheimer is a former US Marine. The Marines’ mantra is semper fidelis, which is Latin for ‘always faithful.’ It’s tragic that he would return to civilian life and dishonor his country by becoming one of its biggest traitors. As he engages in bigoted attacks on Muslims throughout the United State, he calls himself the Rogue Infidel. The Latin roots of ‘infidel’ and ‘fidelis’ relate to loyalty. ‘Infidel’ means unbelieving or unfaithful. But to whom is Ritzheimer unfaithful as he attempts to terrorize the nation’s Muslim population? He is unfaithful to the United States of America, the country he vowed to protect,” stated Tahirah Amatul-Wadud legal counsel for TMOA.
The June, 2015 issue of the Islamic Post introduced Ritzheimer and several other Islamophobes including Pamela Geller and Martin Mawyer as American Taliban. Ritzheimer’s anger is a delayed response to being featured as such. “The label ‘American Taliban’ is what we give to American domestic right-wing extremists who personify the behavior of the Taliban abroad who burn schools and kill children. Ritzheimer fits the bill by virtue of his orchestrated armed Mosque protests and inciting hate against Muslims,” said Muhammad Matthew Gardner, TMOA spokesman. Ritzheimer and a friend, while driving to New York, went to mosques throughout the country and took pictures of themselves behaving obscenely. TMOA contacted two mosques that were threatened, one in New Mexico and the other in Texas. “Indeed these are difficult times for Muslims,” said a leader of one of the threatened mosques.
Law enforcement informed TMOA that Ritzheimer was warned that if he crossed the NY border with his pistol, he would be arrested. Shortly thereafter, one of his supporters posted that his intent was to assist a friend in moving to New Hampshire and he was unsure of his plans.
According to the Daily News sources, “Agents were able to talk with him initially, but two days later, when he was in Scranton, PA, he got angry and cut off communication with them. At that point, the alert was issued, citing a “potential threat to law enforcement.”
Just weeks before Ritzheimer’s threat, TMOA hosted a conference on Islamophobia that has been viewed via the Internet by thousands throughout the world. “Ritzheimer escalated his rhetoric to exploit the momentum from our conference and to take advantage of the increasingly hostile climate of Islamophobia to which he and other American Taliban have contributed. We take his rants seriously, because he has expressly stated he will kill us if given the opportunity and he has many followers who join him in wanting to kill Muslims,” stated Gardner.
Ritzheimer has vowed to eventually make his way to Islamberg, NY. Although next time, he said, there will be no warning.