Mark Dunaway is the New Jersey Muslim who was flying a flag bearing the shahadah, the Islamic profession of faith, outside his home, as I posted about here several days ago. When it was noted that the Islamic State uses exactly the same flag, police visited his home and he took the flag down. Now, to defuse the controversy, he is claiming that the flag is simply a profession of his Islamic faith, and that he has no allegiance to any jihad terror group. And that may be true — certainly the flag doesn’t say anything beyond the Islamic profession of faith, and so it has no intrinsic connection to any particular jihad terror group.
As I said here, in connection with the banning of the same flag in the Netherlands: “That is the shahadah, the Islamic profession of faith. Every Muslim believes in it, or he or she is not a Muslim. It is not the property of the Islamic State — and in fact, last March in Britain it caused consternation as the ‘al-Qaeda flag.’ Both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda use it, of course, because of a fact that Dutch and British authorities determinedly ignore, deny, and downplay: they use it because they are Muslims fighting for Islam and because of Islam, energized and motivated by Islamic teachings and principles.”
The Islamic State does use it, in any case, and so whatever Mark Dunaway’s true intentions may have been, it is an accurate statement to say that he was flying the Islamic State flag. And that’s where Hamas-linked CAIR comes in. Its slick and vicious spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, says in this ABC piece: “Every Muslim in America has this phrase somewhere in their home. This man just chose to put it on a flag.” But Dunaway did not design this flag, as Hooper implies here. He actually chose to use a flag design that has been used by al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, the Islamic State and other jihad terrorists since at least 2006. But Hooper plows on, adding another lie: “‘This is not the ISIS flag,’ said Hooper, noting that the ISIS flag has an additional phrase on the bottom that makes reference to the ‘Islamic State.’”
In the photo here (click on the photo to enlarge), I have placed the photo of Dunaway holding his flag next to a photo of an Islamic State jihadist holding his flag. Do you see “an additional phrase on the bottom that makes reference to the ‘Islamic State’”? Neither do I. Search for images of “ISIS flag,” “ISIL flag,” “Islamic State flag,” and you will see Islamic State jihadis again and again waving exactly the same flag that Dunaway had flying in front of his house, without any “additional phrase on the bottom.”
Hooper lied outright. Sara Figalora of ABC News, as is typical of mainstream media “journalists,” did not call him on it or check his claim.
“New Jersey Man Taken Aback by ISIS Flag Flap, Says He Was ‘Expressing My Religion,'” by Sarah Figalora, ABC News, August 14, 2014:
A photo of a New Jersey home flying a flag that resembled the flag of ISIS, the militant group being bombed by U.S. planes in Iraq, sparked alarm and a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security — but the home’s occupant said he meant no offense and was just expressing his religion.
Mark Dunaway told ABC News that he’s flown that black flag for the 10 years he’s lived in Garwood, New Jersey.
“I’m Muslim, and I fly a flag in front of my home that says I’m a Muslim,” he said.
Dunaway has flown the black flag — which bears the Arabic inscription familiar to Muslims, “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God” — every year during Ramadan, and every single Friday, he said. Having already had the flag up during Ramadan, he originally planned to keep it up until Friday.
However, after the Garwood Police Department received a complaint about the flag, officers visited Dunaway’s home on Tuesday.
“The Garwood Police follow up with any complaint received,” Police Chief Bruce Underhill said in a statement to ABC News.
“Police came by that day on a matter of safety,” Dunaway said, “I had no idea until they pointed it out to me. My reaction was, ‘Are you serious?’”
“Mr. Dunaway was very receptive when we approached him with our concerns and he voluntarily took the flag down,” said Chief Underhill.
Dunaway, surprised at the complaint, realized the extent of the controversy when he saw the photo of his home posted on Twitter.
“It totally caught me off guard that someone was offended to that extent,” Dunaway said.
Marc Leibowitz, who posted the photo to Twitter, told ABC News that he was sent the photo by a friend and alerted Homeland Security.
Leibowitz said he doubted a member of ISIS would openly fly the flag, but that the situation was “disturbing and worth looking into,” and that he “thought Homeland Security and any relevant authorities should probably be notified.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told ABC News the flag is different from the ISIS flag and its message is something most Muslims are familiar with.
“The flag is a profession of Muslim faith,” Hooper said.
“Every Muslim in America has this phrase somewhere in their home,” Hopper added. “This man just chose to put it on a flag.”
“This is not the ISIS flag,” said Hooper, noting that the ISIS flag has an additional phrase on the bottom that makes reference to the “Islamic State.”
Hooper added that ISIS is a relatively new organization and Dunaway’s flag flying predates it.
“It got totally taken out of context,” said Dunaway, “I am not affiliated with any type of militant group. It was just my way of expressing my religion.”
After hearing Dunaway’s explanation, Leibowitz acknowledged Dunaway’s First Amendment right, saying, “I don’t think he should be restricted from flying the flag, but I think it is a breach of good taste.”
Some residents continue to harbor negative feelings.
“There have been a few threats to damage Mr. Dunaway’s residence on various social media outlets,” said Chief Underhill. “This is unacceptable.”
Dunaway said he is Muslim, but also “American-born and -raised” and did not mean to offend anyone.
He has since replaced the black flag with a San Diego Chargers flag, saying, “I just want this situation to go away.”