A Garwood, NJ man received a visit from the local constabulary after someone tweeted a photo of the flag associated with ISIS hanging outside his house. Mark Dunaway says he's been flying the flag outside his home for a decade, long before the extremist group attracted international attention with its bloody terror campaign in Iraq. Dunaway tells CBS 2, "This is just me expressing that I am a Muslim, that’s it." The Internet will be the judge of that, Mr. Dunaway!
Reactions to the flag have been predictably unhinged ever since Marc Leibovitz tweeted a photo of Dunaway's house on August 12th. Some commenters have threatened to burn Dunaway's house down, while others have speculated that Dunaway is secretly a jihadist plotting to overthrow the government (or a jihadist who's really bad at being secretive, considering the flag and whatnot). But Dunaway insists ISIS doesn't own the flag, and he tells NJ.com:
I understand now that people turn on CNN and see the flag associated with jihad, but that's not the intention of that flag at all. It says 'There is only one god, Allah, and the prophet Muhammad is his messenger.' It's not meant to be a symbol of hate. Islam is all about unity and peace. I am not a part of any group like that, and I'm not anti-American. I love my country, but I am a Muslim.
Nevertheless, Garwood police paid Dunaway a little visit, and they say he "voluntarily" agreed to remove the flag. What a sport. So now it's been replaced with a San Diego Chargers flag. Nope, not even a Jets flag—GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT? "Tomorrow it might be an L.A. Kings flag," Dunaway said, presumably blinking his eyes in morse code to spell out "SUCK ON THAT, JERSEY"
Mayor Patricia Quattrocchi had no comment, but Republican Mayoral Candidate Sal Piarulli is urging local residents "not to jump to conclusions," while also telling NJ.com, "It is well within an individual's right to fly a flag, but if, in fact, this is an ISIS flag, I do find it disturbing."
You know who's not disturbed? Dunaway's next door neighbor Diane Figueiredo, who says, "He's totally harmless... He's absolutely flown it many times before. I'm more concerned about the crazy people saying they're going to retaliate and set his house on fire. They're the extremists." Diane Figueiredo, we will never understand how your sensible voice of reason ever slipped through onto the Internet.