VIA| A group calling itself the Bureau on American-Islamic Relations, or BAIR, gathered outside an Irving, Texas, mosque on Saturday, armed with AR-15s and claiming they were protesting “the Islamization of America” and the continued influx of Syrian refugees in the face of brutal Islamic terrorism.
According to KDFW-TV, the group picketing outside the Islamic Center of Irving numbered about 15. One carried a placard that said “Solution to Islamic terrorism,” with an arrow pointing to another protester — an armed man in fatigues.
The protests took place with heavy police presence, including a SWAT team on standby. However, no incidents were reported.
“We are here protesting Syrian refugees coming to America, protesting the Islamization of America,” said David Wright, BAIR spokesman.
“I think the popular belief is, people are scared. They’re scared to say anything about it. They’re scared to come out to a place like this and stand in front of a mosque and protest Islam.”
As for the AR-15s, BAIR said they were necessary for the purposes of the protest.
“We do want to show force,” Wright said. “It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves.”
Protesters insisted they were being unfairly pegged as racists.
“It’s a boiling pot. The kettle … the top on this kettle is on really really tight and it is going to blow,” said a protester who didn’t want his name publicized. “I may look like their version of a racist but I’m not. I’m not even a racist here. I just don’t want them to push their beliefs down my throat.”
The city where the protest took place is no accident. Although perhaps best known as the home of the Dallas Cowboys, Irving was also the home to Muslim teenager Ahmed “Bomb Clock” Mohamed, the 13-year-old whose “homemade” clock looked enough like a bomb to get him taken out of school in handcuffs for it in September.
In addition, Irving also was home to what was to be the first Shariah law court in America earlier this year. However, city officials intervened and the project was halted.