IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – Security at the Islamic Center of Irving has been increased after a religious leader said they received several disturbing phone calls and messages in the last few weeks.
Irving Police has now stepped up patrols and its presence to help.
“I’ve been very careful. Not talking to strangers,” said Walid Mohamed, who attends the mosque.
Mohamed, like many others who attend the mosque in Irving, said they feel tensions continue to rise against Muslims. They said it is in part due to the aftermath of the city council passing a resolution in support of the so called “anti-sharia” bill, HB 562.
“It has nothing to do with religion. Zero. You’re going to have people who want to make it that,” said Robert Maxfield.
Maxfield recently posted a video filming “mosque traffic.” The video features Maxfield yelling out to a driver who he believed was driving recklessly. Maxfield said he posted the video to highlight the traffic problems in the area due to the mosque.
After he posted the video, several people commented.
“Good to keep an eye out for those who may well be testing to determine what they can get away with,” wrote one Facebook user.
“Might try putting pigs or pictures of pigs up and down the neighborhood. That seems to be something they shy away from,” wrote another Facebook user.
“I do feel bad for them that they’re getting threats. I don’t think I’m the cause of it,” said Maxfield.
Alia Salem with the Center for American Islamic Relations said the messages the mosque received ranged from saying Muslims are not welcome here, to “we’re coming after you,” and “going to clear you out of here.”
“It’s not a matter of ‘if’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’ When you have this kind of heightened tension, we’re just waiting,” said Salem.
Irving Police said while they do take the messages very seriously, they do not believe they are a credible threat at the moment. Police added patrols as a precautionary measure and will continue to monitor the situation.