On Saturday, a massive rally is scheduled to be held on the National Mall, dubbed the "mother of all rallies," or MOAR, by its organizers. It'll be going down on the same day as the much-ballyhooed juggalo rally, which figures to be chock full of Insane Clown Posse fans. As for the MOAR, however, you're likely to see very different sorts of attendees, to say nothing of the speakers involved. For example, you might find yourself wondering: who is Hamody Jasim, the "Mother of all Rallies" speaker who'll be in Washington, D.C., this weekend?
First things first, to get a sense of the likely tone of the rally, it's worth explaining what its somewhat strange title refers to. Namely, it's a clear reference to the so-called "mother of all bombs," the most powerful non-nuclear ordinance in the American military's arsenal. The U.S. dropped a MOAB in Afghanistan back in April, in an attack that reportedly killed dozens of ISIS militants. While the rally does not explicitly brand itself as pro-Trump, its associated rhetoric ― including its promotion of the "America First" slogan ― is highly suggestive.
As for Jasim himself, he's a native of Iraq who enlisted as a recruit with the American-backed, reconstructed Iraqi army after the 2003 invasion and subsequent overthrow of Saddam Hussein. He was reportedly just 17 years old when American soldiers first arrived outside his family's home, and according to NPR, he leapt at the chance to join up.
He ultimately rose to the rank of Sergeant Major, and reportedly became a valuable intelligence asset of the U.S. military. Since then, he's become something of a celebrity in conservative circles, having been a critic of former president Barack Obama's strategy for combating terrorism.
Earlier this year, he told the conservative-leaning news website the Independent Journal Review that he believes Obama bears responsibility for the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS got the way it is because of a political decision that was made by Obama himself. The entire Iraqi government became corrupted after we left. ... Obama has to take some responsibility for the terribly bad call he made.
In 2015, Jasim released a book detailing his experiences working with the U.S. military during the Iraq war, titled The Terrorist Whisperer: The Story of the Pro-American. It currently boasts a four-and-a-half out of five stars rating on Amazon.
As for the MOAR rally itself, it's been billed by its organizers as "the Woodstock of American rallies," and an all-caps screed near the top of its official website insists that "anyone who would protest this rally" will show themselves to be an enemy of the country.
The website notes Jasim's involvement. He's listed as one of the keynote speakers, alongside 28-year-old California Republican Omar Navarro, who's challenging Maxine Waters for her congressional seat, and Marco Gutierrez, the "Latinos for Trump" founder who's infamously worried about there being "taco trucks on every corner."
Keynote speakers include author Hamody Jasim, Marco Guiterrez founder of Latinos for Trump, and congressional candidate for California Omar Navarro. ... Panel discussions on a number of hot topics are also planned and much will be happening throughout the day and evening. There will be no admission charge for any of the events.
The rally's website also specifically states that it opposes racism, and it's not hard to see why that disclaimer was made. In recent months, far-right and white supremacist rallies of the sort seen in Charlottesville, Virginia last month have generated a lot of attention, and a huge amount of public push-back from anti-racist demonstrators.
The site specifically condemns "racists of all colors and supremacy of all colors," however, mimicking the "both sides" rhetoric Trump himself used in the aftermath of the deadly Charlottesville rally, which left one anti-racist counter-protester dead and many more injured.
The MOAR is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the northern side of the National Mall.