The pro-Muslim United Against Racism | Hate rally made an unexpected last minute venue change. The event miraculously morphed into a march and a rally less than two days before the Dec. 12 event date. No longer will the event be an Irving mosque-held event. Instead, it will be held in Southeast Dallas at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center on Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m.
With no official word, other than plenty of Facebook event page posts telling the story, one can only wonder if the sudden real estate swap is really all for the cameras.
Previously, Breitbart Texas reported that two pro-Muslim groups United Against Racism | Hate and We Are America Peace Rally joined forces to demonstrate solidarity. The even was scheduled to be held at the Islamic Center of Irving. The Dallas area city has become a hotspot for Islamic protests and tensions since the arrest of “Clock Boy” Ahmed Mohamed, the teen who cried Islamophobia after getting arrested bringing into school a makeshift briefcase clock mistaken for a hoax bomb.
“Clock Boy” seems long forgotten but the public relations posturing appears to remain. A Richardson Democratic Party Precinct Chair, Dwain Handley, posted about the move on the rally’s Facebook page. “As organizers, we recognized a great opportunity,” Handley wrote. “The African-American community opened its arms to our new movement and also opened its considerable resources, including access to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, for the locus of our rally. We quickly realized the power of this symbolism and we seized upon it.”
Similarly, CAIR Dallas’ Facebook planted press release insisted that the tragic attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, and Donald Trump’s Islamophopic statements caused anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes to increase. On Friday, Alia Salem, CAIR’s Dallas director tweeted about her TV news appearance to “talk hate crimes and rally.”
— Alia Salem (@aliarsalem) December 12, 2015
The release said they partnered with religious, political, and social justice organizations for United Against Racism |Hate. Salem calls Saturday’s event a “mobilization rally.” Conveniently, they say they will offer voter registration. Participants are asked to bring teddy bears for Syrian refugee children resettling in North Texas.
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) December 11, 2015
The CAIR release quotes Dr. Michael Waters, Joy Tabernacle AME Church in Dallas saying: “Americans who love freedom stand with the Muslim community as they encounter islamophobia masquerading as patriotism.” The event page tells participants to bring “signs proclaiming this is a land of peace and love, not hate and violence, pointing out the “optics matter,” and Handley ask for signs that identify organizations with ralliers to show “you stand with our Muslim neighbors.”
United Against Racism | Hate Facebook posts offered a variety of narratives why, with less than two days before an event, it would move. One claimed this came at the request from Irving law enforcement and the mosque, citing “a security risk” was presented by holding the event, while another explained the Islamic Center may not have wanted the attention. Still, one credited the KKK.
United Against Racism | Hate pitched itself as the “all Anti-KKK, Anti-Nazism, Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist and Anti-Hate Activists” event when the KKK planned to counter-protest. Then, the white supremacists dropped out over permits, which appears might have something to do with the pro-Muslim group’s move. One event page administrator wrote ”We’ll be walking down the sidewalks and rallying at the center. This way, there are no city permits required, making it so the event does not have to be postponed. We have incredible energy and momentum right now, and we must ‘strike while the iron is hot.'” They may be striking while lightning strikes instead. Dallas expects severe thunderstorms Saturday.
Breitbart Texas spoke with the Irving and the Southeast Dallas Police Departments on Friday. Officers seemed genuinely surprised to learn of the venue change. In fact, Irving police spokesman James McLellan, like Breitbart Texas, heard about it “second hand” and did not yet know if this was even true. McLellan said Irving PD will still have a police presence at the mosque since the information about the change was not yet brought to the department’s attention officially. To be safe, in case protesters do not see the virtual memo and show up to rally, officers will patrol.
As of Friday night, the Facebook pro-Muslim march and rally listed 583 attending. An administrator’s post reads: “This won’t be the last they hear from us.”
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.