Gun-toting demonstrators surround Texas mosque shouting 'Stop the Islamization of America!' to protest accepting Syrian refugees

  • Around 15 people stood outside the Islamic Center of Irving, Texas on Saturday
  • Brandished rifles, shouted Islamophobic chants as worshippers passed
  • It comes after vandalism and threats at other mosques around the U.S. 

Gun-toting demonstrators surrounded a mosque in Texas on Saturday screaming: 'Stop the Islamization of America!'

The group of around 15 people outside the Islamic Center of Irving carried placards in an apparent protest against accepting Syrian refugees.

It comes just over a week after the Islamic State terrorist attacks on Paris, which sparked a surge in Islamophobia in the United States.

The group of 15 stood outside the Islamic Center of Irving with placards in  protest against accepting refugees

The group of 15 stood outside the Islamic Center of Irving with placards in protest against accepting refugees

Threatening: The group said they wanted to show force by carrying guns. Worshippers tried to avoid the rally as they made their way in to prayer services on Saturday. Here, a protester is seen following a worshipper 

Threatening: The group said they wanted to show force by carrying guns. Worshippers tried to avoid the rally as they made their way in to prayer services on Saturday. Here, a protester is seen following a worshipper 

Earlier this week, death threats were called in to two mosques in Florida, and an Eiffel Tower was graffittied onto another. In Pflugerville, Texas, feces and torn pages of the Koran were left at the doorstep of a mosque. 

On Saturday, worshippers were subjected to taunts and shouts as they made their way to prayer service. 

'We are here protesting Syrian refugees coming to America, protesting the Islamization of America,' said David Wright, spokesman for the group which calls themselves the Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR), on Fox 4 News.

'I think the popular belief is people are scared. They're scared to say anything about it. 

The rally comes just over a week after the terrorist attacks on Paris, which sparked a surge in Islamophobia

The rally comes just over a week after the terrorist attacks on Paris, which sparked a surge in Islamophobia

One said they were carrying guns because 'it would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves'

One said they were carrying guns because 'it would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves'

Police were aware of the rally in advance, warned the owners of the mosque and had officers stationed outside

Police were aware of the rally in advance, warned the owners of the mosque and had officers stationed outside

'They're scared to come out to a place like this and stand in front of a mosque and protest Islam.'

According to the Dallas Morning News, police were aware of the rally in advance and warned the owners of the mosque.

Officers were stationed outside the center to ensure the protest was contained.

Wright told the paper: 'We do want to show force. … It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves.'

 


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