Texas mosque draws protest, counter-protest demonstrations

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A weekend of angst over Islam: Guns in Richardson, marchers in Dallas and a quiet conversation in Irving.

The Bureau of American Islamic Relations protest in the parking lot across from the Islamic Association of North Texas in Richardson. (Nathan Hunsinger The Dallas Morning News) Meanwhile, an Irving mosque at the center of the storm is turning crowds and cameras away as it tries to hold a quiet conversation with its Christian and Jewish neighbors.The terror-linked Texas mosque named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in United States history told its supporters on Friday not to come when armed protesters rally on Saturday, Dec. 12.

But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago—when a handful of protesters took rifles to the Islamic Center of Irving—that the suburb transformed from a discussion point into a public stage in the United State’s debate about Islamophobia. He said two people convicted in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial lived in Richardson, and wants authorities to investigate the city’s major mosque. He wants to open up their books to assure they are not actively funding terrorist organizations. “If I’m wrong in the end, fine: I’m wrong,” Wright said as he prepared for Saturday’s demonstration. “Nobody really got hurt.

What’s the big deal?” The big deal, as critics see it, are the long-barreled guns BAIR’s members bring to their protests—including their first rally outside the Richardson mosque in October. She confirmed they received a written communication that “mosque leaders in Richardson asked us not to show up for security reasons.” The church’s minister Aaron White posted on Facebook under several threads for a different Dallas pro-Muslim event Saturday, United Against Racism | Hate. Wright said the guns are only to protect his group from Islamic extremists who might act out violently if they see Islam being disrespected—similar to what happened in May in a foiled terror attack in Garland.

The mosque’s imam, Shpendim Nadzaku, looked on from a distance as television camera crews busied Wright and the other protesters Saturday afternoon.. They’ve been in discussion with law enforcement in depth, and they have asked that we do not show up or engage those armed folks in any way.” Breitbart Texas spoke with officials at the Richardson and Irving police stations and no one knew anything about White’s claims that law enforcement was working with the mosque, or that police advised people not to attend. Nadzaku pondered Wright’s words about the guns not being used to intimidate members of the mosque. “That’s what the police force is for,” Nadzaku said the protesters’ need for protection. “When is it going to become this vigilantism where everybody decides to take the law into their own hands?” As he spoke, a car passed by the imam and a group of counter-protesters supporting the mosque.

Instead, the Richardson PD office of spokesman Adam Perry, who was out of the office, told Breitbart Texas that this is “not a police matter, it is a civic matter,” and advised that they were not involved in any event decisions regarding the mosque. When BAIR returns to Richardson today at 2 p.m., a coalition of activists, churchs and political groups will be in Dallas trying to counter their message with the most organized demonstration since the Islam dispute began in North Texas. Endorsed by national organizations, religious groups and the Dallas County Democratic Party, the “United Against Racism and Hate” rally will gather in Fair Park at 1 p.m. and march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Moreover, we hurt when this nation hurts, and we grieved together this past week.” They say they will continue to “work with our interfaith partners to promote purposeful and intellectual dialogue…and create healthy relations with our neighbors, law enforcement and community members.

She hopes to expand the movement even further—countering hate rhetoric against minority groups across the United States, and even pivoting into a political movement in the next round of city and state elections. Left alone by the crowds, Irving mosque leaders have been inviting people from churches and synagogues across Irving to join them Sunday afternoon for a dialog about faith—no reporters allowed. “We’re trying to do away with this stereotype of ‘everybody in Irving hates Muslims,’ said City Council member Dennis Webb, who pastors a church and will host the “One Irving” forum with nearly a dozen other faith leaders at the mosque. “Even in my congregation—a predominantly African-American congregation—a lot of them share the same feeling and fears” about Islam, Webb said. “That they’re all terrorists.

Stuff like that.” Webb blamed Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne for “stirring up the fears” earlier this year, when she spread rumors of a Shariah court on TV, pushed a symbolic City Council vote to enforce the constitution, and later spread false reports that she had stopped Shariah in Irving. The Shariah court myth has since joined claims that the Quran commands Muslims to murder nonbelievers and countless other rumors treated as fact in anti-Islamic circles. For example, Joseph cited a biblical passage in which God tells King Saul to kill an entire tribe of people, including children, then punishes the king for not slaughtering them thoroughly enough. “Someone could look at the Old Testament and say the Jewish people believe in killing every last man, woman and child.

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