As a bonus, on the return lap of the Jesus in the City parade, their music almost drowned out the anti-Israel speeches and chants. Make a joyful noise, indeed.
I've been on my feet for five hours and I'm exhausted. My camera's battery is exhausted, too, so we both need to re-energize a bit.
Not once when I was amongst the Christians did anyone block me from taping or demand to know my name and affiliation. Everywhere I turned, people smiled at me. They were happy and couldn't help but spread that happiness around. During their praise and worship service, I thought a few times, "This is what heaven is like". (Yeah, I'm religious like that.)
While I wouldn't say the Al Quds gathering was hell, it would qualify as hellish.
I was one of the few women not wearing a black hijab and long, black over-garment, and I'm as white as they come, so I stood out like a sore thumb. Everything was fine until
A couple of minutes later, a middle-aged Arab man -- Ali Mallah, vice-president of the Canadian Arab Federation -- stood directly in front of me and blocked me from videotaping the speaker who was addressing the crowd. He demanded to know my name and my affiliation.
The confrontation went something like this (I'm paraphrasing because I can't check my video just yet):
Ali Mallah: "What is your name? Who are you with?"
Me: "I'm not telling you my name."
Ali Mallah: "I'll tell you my name, it's ________. What is your name?"
Me: "I'm not telling you my name because I know who you're with."
Ali Mallah: "Are you a journalist?"
Ali Mallah: "Is this for a documentary?"
Ali Mallah: "Are you with the JDL?"
Ali Mallah: "You are not with the JDL?"
Me: "I am not a member of the JDL."
With that, he walked away.
What would he have done if I had been a member of the JDL? Get the cops and have me ejected from the grounds of Queen's Park for standing quietly and videotaping a public event in a public place? Why, that would be apartheid. In fact, come to think of it, his questioning of me qualifies as apartheid. I was the only person questioned in such a manner, all because I was a non-Muslim and a Zionist. What is this, Iran? Why do these people think they can enforce Islamic law (sharia) in a non-Muslim country?
From heavenly to hellish in the space of one afternoon in downtown Toronto.
Thankfully, the Jesus people filled me up with enough joy and strength to withstand the anger and hatred I later received from the Mohammed people.
I know whose side I'm on.
A big thank-you to Blazing Cat Fur for his blog post which informed me of these events.
I hope to have video up on Monday.
Update: Welcome, fellow readers & fans of Blazing Cat Fur!
Update #2: Welcome, readers of Square Mile Wife! She writes that she learned of my blog via Blazing Cat Fur and I've just learned of her blog the same way! Check out her excellent report and photos of a boycott against Ahava products yesterday (in London, England
Update #3: Welcome, fellow readers & fans of Small Dead Animals!
Update #4: Welcome, readers of Stubble Jumping Redneck! Wow, another great blog that I'm just learning about!
Update #5: Welcome, fellow readers & fans of Scaramouche!
Update #6: Updated to identify Ali Mallah, vice-president of the Canadian Arab Federation and Jesse M. Zimmerman of York University and the NDP.