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Exclusive: Embattled Texas Mayor Discusses Pro-Muslim Rallies, Security, and City’s Character

In a Breitbart Texas video interview, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne discussed the upcoming protests, security concerns, and Irving’s character, a city maligned for its patriotism, and state and local pride. Pro-Muslim groups plan to rally on Saturday, December 12 at the Islamic Center of Irving, in the culturally diverse Dallas suburb of Irving, the controversial hotbed for protests and counter-protests.

The pro-Muslim We Are America Peace Rally will piggyback on the United Against Racism|Hate Irving mosque-held event. We Are America originally planned to protest at City Hall the day of Irving’s Christmas parade but canceled when Tea Party groups decided to rally in support of Irving’s police and mayor. Breitbart Texas reported the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Dallas County Democratic Party among the handful of pro-Muslim protest Facebook listed sponsors as well as several churches and one synagogue.

The wave of demonstrations kicked up after the September arrest of “Clock Boy” Ahmed Mohamed, the boy who cried Islamophobia after his homemade clock resembled and was mistaken for a hoax bomb at school. Tensions increased after the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

In November, an armed anti-Muslim group of citizens demonstrated outside the Irving mosque. The group calls itself the Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR). They later posted on Facebook the names and addresses of individuals deemed Muslim and Muslim sympathizers from an existing March Irving City Council roster of speakers for and against a local resolution to support a proposed American Laws for American Courts bill, which Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price reported. A pro-mosque counter-protest staged by a Starbucks barista followed. BAIR intends to protest armed on Saturday but at the nearby Richardson mosque.

Although tempers flare, protests remain peaceful in Irving. No matter who protests, safety is always of concern. Van Duyne told Breitbart Texas:

Whenever you have rallies of any kind, you want to make sure people are following the law, you want to make sure everyone is protected and you want to make sure it is a peaceful protest, a peaceful rally. It doesn’t matter what group it is that’s coming.

You know, we’ve heard various groups are coming, are going to be there, various groups dropped out, other groups are going to be there, doesn’t matter who’s going to be there. Our police are going to be in force, and hopefully it will remain peaceful. That will be our goal.

City officials continue to take a beating in the mainstream media while groups that preach peace and love bang the Islamophobia drum, a narrative cultivated by leftwing media which Breitbart News’ Lee Stranahan addressed in an interview with the mayor. She told Breitbart Texas that labeling Irving as “anti-anything” is “preposterous.”

She said:

 I look at our city and I look at the majority of these protests and rallies that you see are from outsiders coming in. It’s a shame. The idea that the city is somehow anti-anything is preposterous.

Outsiders coming in, something reminiscent of last summer’s pool party incident in McKinney, where every leftwing activist attempt was made to transform moments from a cell phone filmed fracas between teens and law enforcement into Ferguson. The Black Panthers showed up at an elementary school to push a racism narrative in a racially and ethnically diverse upscale suburb north of Dallas. Rumors surfaced that the Rev. Al Sharpton would fly into otherwise harmonious Collin County, which never materialized.

In Irving, Amena Jamali, the Muslim 2015 valedictorian of the same high school attended by Ahmed Mohamed, debunked the vitriolic rhetoric presented by the Mohamed family, now threatening to sue the City of Irving and its public school district, the latter under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in a Ahmed-related probe pushed by out-of-state liberal Congress members. Yet Jamali’s heartfelt portrayal of a close knit, open-minded and supportive, almost to a fault, Irving school community did not reflect racism or bigotry.

Neither did Irving’s holiday extravaganza. One parent told Breitbart Texas she refused to let one family define “who we are.” This month, Dallas-Plano-Irving was named #5 in Milken Institute’s 2015 Best Performing Cities this week. A city allegedly fraught with racial strife appears to be prospering, booming and growing. It landed on America’s 50 best cities to live list at #49. In 2013, Business Insider ranked Irving the fifth safest big city to live in the country.

Van Duyne added:

I mean we’re pro-American, we’re pro-Texas, and we’re definitely pro-Irving and we’re pro-community and I think that is the story that America and the world needs to hear about our city.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.

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