Before I even made it to the street, I could hear the bullhorns from the subway platform at the WTC stop.

We’d intended to leave the city for the day. The plan was to go up to the Hudson River Valley for a BBQ at a friend’s house. Julie was looking forward to it. She said she had a bad feeling about this particular anniversary.

Since our daughter has been sick since Wednesday, though, we decided to stay closer to home.

I was curious to see the two rallies scheduled– one sponsored by the New York City Coalition to Stop Islamophobia and the other sponsored by Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI). Both, in one way or another, were making a comment about the Muslim Community Center that has been proposed a few blocks away from Ground Zero.

So I took my camera and went downtown.

1

Nomosque

1. Though SIOA and FDI had asked their supporters to bring American flags instead of signs, not everyone complied.

2

Noobama

2. One of the many things that confuses me about the national "conversation" about the "mosque," is how opponents conflate issues that aren't entirely related.

3

Flagofhonor

3. The Flag of Honor lists the names of the people who were killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

4

Patriot

4. I was also confused by competing messages about forgiveness within the Christian tradition. Here, an aggressive statement about non-forgiveness.

5

Christ

5. And here the reference to Christ turning the other cheek.

6

abortion

6. In fact, there were people who weren't protesting the "mosque"; instead, they were protesting abortion and calling for national repentance.

7

jesusway

7. Many participants wore shirts that stated their beliefs clearly.

8

islamo

8. A block away, near City Hall, were the people who'd turned out for the rally organized by the New York City Coalition to Stop Islamophobia.

9

messages

9. Some of their messages, I definitely agreed with.

10

partisan

10. Some were too partisan for me.

11

moving

11. A few were moving.

12

wacky

12. And some were downright non-sensical.

13

contemplative

13. Overall, the scene--on both sides of the street--made me sad. I didn't feel that I belonged even in the group whose opinion I shared. I saw lots of people on the margins.

14

wesayno

14. Amidst all the screaming and sign waving, these were the people who felt the most...

15

muslimwoman

15. "real."