On Monday, a group calling itself the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA) launched an unusual protest against the Saudi Arabian government’s execution of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, asking people to inundate the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington D.C. with potatoes.
Claiming al-Nimr was “an international champion of civil rights and free speech,” the petition argued that the potato deluge was modeled after the “Ice Bucket Challenge” that drew attention to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The press release states that the aim of the protest is threefold: The media will take notice, it peacefully opposes the “brutal tactics of the Saudi government against free speech,” and it will annoy the Saudi government.
According to Arab News, In March 2009, al-Nimr suggested secession of the Shiite regions in Saudi Arabia to form a united Shiite state.
For all their protestations that they condemn terrorism, the UMAA also associates with people like Juan Cole, an anti-Israel zealot and Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, who once said, “I wish the Israeli tanks could face an army. They do not face an army. Instead, they go after women and children.”
The #FreedomPotato project has yet to catch fire on Twitter, though some are helping UMAA in their attempts to make it go viral:
— Voice Of Qaim (@voiceofqaim) January 5, 2016
— Esha (@eshaLegal) January 4, 2016
— Mirna Miranda (@MirandaMirna) January 5, 2016