MUSLIM DAY: Where footbaths, burqas, and bodies are sprawled out all over Madison Avenue in NYC

Annual Muslim Day Parade: Muslims gather to take over the streets of midtown Manhattan in celebration of their ongoing conquest of the land of the disbelievers.

NY TIMES The scene seemed surreal, yet oddly poignant: at a silent, deserted intersection in the center of Midtown Manhattan, beneath bland corporate logos and brick office buildings, hundreds of Muslims knelt on a sprawling tarpaulin, faced due east and commenced the midday call to prayer.

The ceremony, held along a blocked-off portion of Madison Avenue, marked the start of the American Muslim Day Parade on Sunday, an annual event, first held in 1985, that brings together Muslims of many ethnicities and nationalities who worship in the New York region.

The parade is intended as a celebration of diversity and pride in the Muslim community, but this year it had a difficult context: national controversies over a planned Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, the threatened desecration of Korans by anti-Muslim ministers, and recent incidences of what the authorities called hate crimes against Muslims, including a New York City cabdriver who was slashed.

Footbaths on Madison Avenue. Revolting.

Some marchers had feared protesters on Sunday, but only the occasional Christian missionary appeared. Still, the turnout was far smaller than at the city’s better-known ethnic parades, and a few organizers speculated that safety concerns kept many Muslims away. “Some people are too scared to show up,” said Zaheer Uddin, executive director of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, a sponsoring group.

But many participants, while acknowledging their concern over the increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric, said the troubles had only further encouraged them to attend this year.

Female cop required to wear a bag on her head?

ISLAM IN ACTION. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Thanks to Urban Infidel for photos and videos