On July 7, 2016, four police officers were killed by sniper fire in Dallas, Texas. Seven other officers and a civilian were injured. The shooting occurred at a protest against police killings in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. This is all generally known.
It seems improbable that Black Lives Matter members would fire on a Black Lives Matter demonstration. And that is in fact, not what happened.
Among the five suspects now in Dallas Police custody are self described “Islamic Americans” who attended a Nation of Islam mosque in the South Dallas area. It should be noted that the Nation of Islam itself is splintered into several groups. Louis Farrakhan, who took over the organization in 1981, subscribes to Dianetics and appears to have left Islam altogether. It’s ideology is barely recognizable as Islamic.
No American Islamic leader publicly promotes violence, and the Nation of Islam is no exception to that rule. However, members of this particular Mosque might reasonably have believed that they themselves were under attack.
A tense, armed protest in front of a South Dallas mosque required Dallas police intervention one Saturday afternoon in April. It happened in front of the Nation of Islam mosque on April 3, 2016, according to CBS Dallas.
Anti-Moslem demonstrators, dressed in fatigues and masks and most of them armed, were easily outnumbered approximately 10 to 1 by the mosque supporters, some of whom were also armed, reported CBS Dallas. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anti-muslim-protest-in-dallas-features-fatigues-masks-lots-of-guns/
Dozens of police officers stood in between the two groups and also on rooftops to ensure nothing more than words were exchanged.
In a statement released before the April protest, the Dallas Police Department said, “The department is committed to protecting the Constitutional rights of all citizens and will make every effort to keep this protest peaceful.”
The was no violence and no arrests. But the seeds of anger and dissent were sown.
Militant Islam Reaches America is a book written by historian Daniel Pipes, published in 2002. It focuses on Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism, reflecting Pipes’ view that, as he said in 1995, “Unnoticed by most Westerners, war has been unilaterally declared on Europe and the United States.” The latest shooting in Dallas appears to have been a part of that war.
The protest was organized by the Next Generation Action Network after the killings of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively. It was one of several protests held across the U.S. on the night of July 7. Several hundred protesters were involved in the Dallas protest, and before the shooting occurred, no other incidents were reported and the event was peaceful.
Belo Garden Park, the location where the protest began and near where the shooting occurred, was a popular gathering place for Black Lives Matter demonstrations, such as one held after the death of Sandra Bland at a Waller County, Texas, jail in 2015.
The people firing on the Dallas police used another group’s protest event, to settle what they saw as an offense against their race and their religion.
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