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Tempers Flare At Irving City Hall Over "Anti-Sharia" Law

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IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) - Tempers flared at the Irving City Council meeting as supporters and protesters clashed over the city's support of the Texas House Bill 562, the so called "anti-sharia" law.

The yelling and booing began just minutes into the public comment forum.

"Sharia law is Islam. And Islam's goal is to immigrate, assimilate and annihilate," said one speaker.

Those words outraged audience member Laith Albataineh who began yelling back at the speaker in outrage.

"That is offensive. That is Offensive! Show some respect. You do not call me religion that," yelled Albataineh.

Irving Police quickly walked over to Albataineh and kicked him out of the meeting for breaking decorum.

"How am I going to explain to my daughters what just happened?" questioned Albataineh.

Irving City Council 1
(credit: CBS 11 News)
Irving City Council 2
(credit: CBS 11 News)

Like many others in the crowd on Thursday, Albataineh is frustrated with Mayor Beth Van Duyne and the city council members who voted to pass a resolution in support of HB 562. The bill prohibits the use of foreign law.

"What were you all thinking? People refer to us as bigots and put us in the same category as Indiana," said Kim Morris, who represents Irving Texas Democratic Women.

Morris was quickly booed by a crowd who showed up in support of the mayor and the resolution.

"It's not about Muslims. It's not about any religions. It's about what's right," said Dan Clements, an Irving resident.

Clements even went as far as having bumper stickers made to support the mayor. He said it all comes down to supporting the American constitution.

"We are part of this nation. We are not some aliens dropped from a different planet," said Albataineh. "If they disrespected me, yes I would do it again."

Irving Police did not arrest Albataineh.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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