Fire and brimstone were on the lips of many, but not all, Christian evangelists who showed up after hearing that Muslims were intending to congregate on the Mall.
Terrance Boone, a young member of McLean Bible Church from Severna Park, Md., amicably handed out Christian tracts with around 10 others from the church. The event seemed like a good opportunity to proselytize, he said.
Some bikers parked near the Mall and walked over to see the hubbub that inspired them to traverse the country. Most appeared bored and wandered off after a few minutes.
After the speeches were over, around two dozen event attendees began their march toward Congress as around a dozen Christians holding signs and large white crosses followed behind them. One bellowed repeatedly into a megaphone, "Muhammad is a pedophile, Muhammad is a liar."
Hostility peaked in front of Congress, where the counter protesters were joined by a large group of bikers who had parked along 3rd Street.
Scores of U.S. Capitol Police guarded the protesters as angry bikers shouted "USA!" and "get out!" When the demonstrators moved toward the White House, bikers revved their motorcycles to drown out chants of "12 years of war, no more war!"
Despite the testy exchanges, two Christian activists were wooed to join the Muslim-initiated protest earlier in the day.
"That's the only thing I'm protesting: fear," said Brian Chamberlin, who drove from Tennessee with Jason Rogers of Alabama. Jesus, they said, was the proper remedy for fear.
Marvin Holmes, an elderly Baptist pastor from Pike, N.Y., pelted out a more apocalyptic message on a megaphone until police instructed him to put it away around noon. "We thought there were going to be enough people to preach to," he complained.
He wasn't alone in his fervency. "You must repent, only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin," shouted a woman at non-Christian protesters.
Kevin Barrett, a skeptic of the official 9/11 account and a key event organizer, told attendees he'd like to have a similar gathering on the Mall every year on Sept. 11.
"We want to come back every year," he said, speculating that at some future point one million Americans might turn out against post-9/11 government policies.
The Missouri-based American Muslim Political Action Committee called for the protest in 2012. It was renamed in February, when non-Muslim groups asked to join.