POLITICS

Anti-Islam Group Posts Muslims' Personal Info on Facebook

Irving, Texas, is becoming a hotbed of Islamophobia.

An anti-Islam group in the Dallas, Texas, suburb of Irving publicized the names and addresses of over 60 Muslims and Muslim "sympathizers" on its Facebook page. 

The Bureau of American Islamic Relations’ post targets those who spoke out against a controversial Irving City Council vote on Islamic tribunals. In March, the council backed a state bill that would limit Muslim influence.

Mayor Beth Van Duyne accused Irving's Muslim community of using Sharia law to bypass state and federal legislation to mediate disputes through an Islamic tribunal. The Islamic Center of Irving issued a statement that denies the existence of a Sharia court but confirms the existence of a tribunal.

BAIR describes itself on its Facebook page as an "organization that stands in opposition (on all levels)" to Islamic groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth branch of CAIR, said the publication marked the first time she had felt slightly alarmed over anti-Islamic sentiment. “As bad as things have gotten in the past, and especially recently, this is the first time where I see people taking this public," she told the Dallas Morning News

Others on the list fear the consequences of their personal information getting into the wrong hands. 

The post has yet to be taken down from Facebook, which goes against the website's Community Standards. Facebook policy is to remove content when it presents a "genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety."

Neither Facebook nor the Irving Police Department immediately returned requests for comment.

BAIR also protested outside of Irving's mosque Saturday, where they toted shotguns and held signs that stated, "Stop the Islamization of America" and "The solution to Islamic terrorism." 

BAIR spokesman David Wright said they were also protesting Syrian refugees coming to America and that he believes that people are scared.

"They're scared to say anything about it," he told Fox 4 News. They're scared to come out to a place like this and stand in front of a mosque and protest Islam.

"People should recognize that we are peaceful and we are a group of self defense minded people. There's nothing wrong with that."  

There has been an alarming increase in Islamophobic incidents since the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris. A mosque in Pflugerville, Texas, was defaced with feces and torn pages of the Quran. In Ontario, Canada, police said a mosque was deliberately set on fire.

CAIR said in a statement that it has received more reports about acts of Islamophobic discrimination, intimidation, threats, and violence targeting American Muslims -- or those perceived to be Muslim -- and Islamic institutions in the week and a half since the Paris attacks "than during any other limited period of time since the 9/11 terror attacks."

Irving also happens to be the home of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old boy of Sudanese origin whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb at school. 

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