A prominent conservative lawyer who last month called for a coup to oust President Barack Obama told a rally of war veterans and other protesters on Saturday that Obama should “put the Qu’ran down, get up off his knees and figuratively come out with his hands up.”
Comparing himself to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., attorney Larry Klayman called for “a second American nonviolent revolution,” before a crowd gathered at Washington D.C.’s World War II Memorial.
Billing itself as the “Million Vet March On The Memorials,” the crowd removed barricades that blocked visitors from entering the memorial site, which like other sites operated with federal money, is closed to the public until the government shutdown finally ends.
The Department of the Interior, which operates the memorial sites, has said that veterans with the Honor Flight program — a nonprofit group that transports vets to war memorial sites — may enter the sites. But the general public is still barred.
Klayman (pictured, speaking) told the crowd that the United States had “declined” in the 237 years of its existence “more than Rome took 2000 years to do,” because the nation now has a president who “bows down to Allah.”
The conspiracy theory that Obama is secretly a practicing Muslim has circulated for several years. In 2010, Obama himself addressed the issue of his personal religion.
“I'm a Christian by choice," he said. "I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me.”
The crowd at Saturday’s gathering was reported to number in the “hundreds” at the lowest and "thousands" at the highest, and was filled with people carrying signs calling for Obama’s impeachment.
CNN noted that the rally "resembled familiar tea party events from 2009, with yellow 'Don't Tread On Me' flags throughout the crowd and strong anti-Obama language from the podium and the audience."
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the most prominent Republican lawmaker advocating the shutdown, and former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin also spoke at the rally, decrying the memorial closures.
But the White House has dismissed their objections.
"Every House Republican who has decried any impact from this shutdown, as if they were surprised that it would happen, clearly didn't pay attention when every agency of the federal government posted on their websites ... what would happen if the government were shut down, including the closing of national memorials and national parks," said White House Spokesperson Jay Carney at a press briefing last week.
Klayman's speech, which may be amusing, enraging or inspiring depending on your point of view, is viewable below.