A student at the University of Missouri in Columbia burned an Islamic State flag in a barbecue grill on Thursday while hundreds chanted , “USA! USA!”
The Muslim Students Organization chose not to participate.
The Young Americans of Liberty (YAL) president organized the “Missouri University Coalition for those Killed by ISIS,” to unify students to remember the innocent people who have lost their lives to terrorism.
A statement from the group says, “US Middle East Policy has led to the rise of radical Islam in the countries in which we have toppled secular dictators. Not only that, but ISIS has risen to power on the back of US Taxpayers.”
The YAL president Ian Paris told The College Fix that his message was to tell ISIS “we’ve had enough. And to tell Washington … to stop using our tax money to fund radical Islamic groups in the Middle East.”
Ian Paris lights the handmade ISIS flag on fire. A crowd of about 150 chants "USA." pic.twitter.com/Wl2vZlcpE7
— Kaley Johnson☀️ (@KaleyAJohnson) October 8, 2015
University security tried to convince Paris not to torch the ISIS flag prior to the flag burning, but he maintained that the fear people have about ISIS is the reason why the event needed to happen.
He said during the rally that the rise of ISIS is primarily due to the U.S. government’s willingness to fund and support radical Islamic groups in Syria and Libya.
“Each time we have toppled a secular dictator in the Middle East, chaos has ensued. This can be seen, for example, in the countries of Iraq, and Libya,” he told the students as they awaited the flag to be set on fire.
“While I sympathize with the innocent citizens of Syria and their plight, I am disgusted, appalled, and downright infuriated that the weapons that you and I have paid for are being used to methodically execute not just Jews, not just Christians, but hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims throughout the Middle East,” Paris added.
The president of the Muslim Student Organization at MU, Zakaria El-Tayash, told KOMU that his group’s members did not participate in the demonstration because of “the way that they are approaching the situation,” even though he agrees with their message. He said burning the ISIS flag will add fuel to the fire.
“We are an organization that doesn’t stand for violence in any way,” El-Tayash said. “Their message from what I understand is good. Their intentions may be good. I just don’t believe in the way that they are approaching the situation.”
Paris contends that “the main purpose of the Islamic State has been you instill fear in the people who would speak out and resist,” and “it’s about time somebody stop being afraid.”
Here is a full transcript of Paris’ speech.
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