The organizer of a recent armed protest at a Dallas-area mosque published the names and addresses of more than 60 Muslims and “Muslim sympathizers” online Wednesday.
The Bureau of American Islamic Relations’ post targets those who spoke out against a controversial Irving City Council vote to support a state bill aimed at blocking Muslim influence, the Dallas Morning News reported.
David Wright III, the BAIR spokesman who organized Saturday’s armed protest outside the Irving Islamic Center, posted on Facebook “the name and address of every Muslim and Muslim sympathizer that stood up for … Sharia tribunals in Irving.”
Shortly before he posted the list online, he wrote on Facebook: “We should stop being afraid to be who we are! We like to have guns designed to kill people that pose a threat in a very efficient manner.”
Anthony Bond, an Irving activist, said he was shocked to see his information listed. He said he contacted Irving police over the post.
“We have a right to disagree, but we do not have the right to target and cause … harm just because we differ in our beliefs,” Mr. Bond told the Morning News. “That is the goal of this post: to put a bulls-eye on the back of all the people that stood up against the so-called anti-Shariah law bill.”
Irving police spokesman James McLellan said he was unaware of any complaints about the list, the Morning News reported.
Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said seeing her own name on the list was the first time she’s ever been “slightly alarmed” about her safety.
“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 Morning News. “It doesn’t seem to be getting much traction, and we are definitely getting support — people are horrified.”
She said she plans to discuss the situation with the FBI and Justice Department.
The list of Muslim names and addresses was eventually deleted from BAIR’s Facebook page. Mr. Wright accused Morning News reporter Avi Selk of being high on cough syrup during his interview at Saturday’s protest and updated his personal page with the following statement:
“I am being attacked and smeared by the liberal media for legally exercising my 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and for using public data to defend my credibility when they make accusations against me. I guess they don’t like it when you prove them wrong publicly. If we had a hit list and wanted to run down that list, you would have already seen it on the news. We don’t operate that way!! We are self defense only, none of our members have killed any Muslims in America! The list I posted was proof that the Muslims in Irving want their own Islamic legal system, (Sharia) just as I told the reporters at the Mosque protest. This is what happens when you play favoritism as a journalist, you cause problems and stir up controversy by twisting a story, lying and omitting facts to fit your narrative as a team player for one side or another. I would have had no reason to produce this list in my own defense if you would have told the story honestly without bias or blatant favoritism. So to those on the list who feel betrayed or targeted don’t blame me or the Mayor of Irving, blame the media for playing games of favoritism instead of reporting the news!”
A pro-Islam rally is planned Saturday at the Islamic Center to protest BAIR and show support for area Muslims.
“The mosque in Irving receives a lot of hate and ugliness,” Tonya Cadenhead, an Irving resident who is organizing the event, told the Morning News. “I decided to do something nice for them and show them not everyone has an ugly heart.”