ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix anti-Muslim protest organizer: I thought I was going to die

Jun 3, 2015, 2:53 PM | Updated: 3:21 pm

...

PHOENIX — The organizer of an anti-Muslim protest outside of a Phoenix mosque said he thought he may be killed by a terrorist during the event.

“I went there that night, with a gun on my hip, fully thinking that I was going to die, that a terrorist was going to try to kill me for exercising my First Amendment (rights),” Jon Ritzheimer said in a video posted to Facebook. (WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE)

Ritzheimer said hackers exposed a good amount of his personal information and created multiple fake social media accounts after the protest.

“This whole thing did blow up in my face,” he said. “I was unprepared.”

In the aftermath, Ritzheimer said certain aspects of the protest, such as his “[Expletive] Islam” shirt — were “stupid.”

“I know my shirt was distasteful — it was stupid — but I wore it because I’m sick of what’s going on,” he said.

He also said a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad, taboo in Muslim culture, was a stupid idea.

“I don’t care about it,” he said, explaining he wants Americans to be able to express themselves without the threat of death looming overhead.

Ritzheimer placed most of the blame for his new-found fame on the media, which he claimed is spinning the topic.

“Why isn’t CNN or Fox calling me for an interview? I’m not hard to find,” he said. “I would gladly do a ’60 Minutes’ episode with the leader of that mosque.”

About 500 people attended the protest. No arrests were made.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A band performs during an Arizona Bike Week motorcycle rally in Scottsdale, Arizona...

Kevin Stone

Yelawolf, George Thorogood, Everclear round out Arizona Bike Week concert lineup

The concert schedule for Arizona Bike Week 2024 in Scottsdale is set, with Yelawolf, George Thorogood and Everclear joining the lineup.

4 hours ago

A man was shot and killed in northwest Phoenix on Feb. 23, 2023. (Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Polic...

KTAR.com

Police seeking suspect after man shot dead in northwest Phoenix alley

The Phoenix Police Department is looking for a suspect after a man was shot dead in a northwest Phoenix alley on Thursday evening.

8 hours ago

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is eyeing a big expansion on-site. (VRX Studios/Justin Kriel)...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess eyes expansion of guest rooms, restaurants, event spaces and more

The iconic Fairmont Scottsdale Princess filed a request to the city of Scottsdale to update its master plan.

10 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

KTAR.com

TSMC reaches construction milestone for Phoenix chip factory

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in Phoenix reached a construction milestone on its chip plant this week.

11 hours ago

Stock image of four men working off the ground on a grid of steel rods. Construction was one of Ari...

Kevin Stone

Arizona had 103 fatal work injuries in 2022, a sharp increase from previous year

There were 103 fatal work injuries in Arizona in 2022, according newly released federal statistics, 54% more than a year earlier.

12 hours ago

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) attends a House Armed Services Committee hearing on July 9, 2020, in Wash...

KTAR.com

Ruben Gallego calls Arizona US Senate rival Kari Lake’s switch up on John McCain ‘insulting’

Democratic Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Ruben Gallego isn't buying Kari Lake's change of heart when it comes to John McCain.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Phoenix anti-Muslim protest organizer: I thought I was going to die