With the Republican National Convention underway, tensions were high outside. Police armed themselves with riot gear. There were protesters. There were religious groups promoting the Bible and/or attacking Islam. There were people from Black Lives Matter. And then there was a Muslim man with a gun.
There was so much activity going on in Cleveland Public Square. In the midst of this, Micah Naziri, who is from Yellow Springs in Ohio, decided to make a stand and put himself within distance of people who may already be dealing with Islamophobia. Wearing a white knit skullcap, Naziri stood at the public square armed with an AR-15.
According to a report from Slate, Naziri was expecting trouble. He explained, “I think anyone of any historically oppressed group or religious or ethno-religious minority should be arming themselves and training in self-defense.”
He also pointed out that when someone “better armed” and “not the least bit intimated or afraid” by others come in, people “don’t seem to feel like they want to talk as much.”
Naziri faced a number of signs that he may readily have found offensive.
One sign read, “Every real muslim is a jihadist.” Another read, “Jesus is angry with you sinners,” according to some photos that appeared on News Americas.
The pro-gun movement and the anti-gun protesters were also in the crowd. At the same time, the anti-Trump group remained vigilant as well. The same for those throwing support behind the newly declared official presidential candidate of the Republican party. Everyone had something to say. Everyone wanted to get heard.
According to one video footage from Breaking 911, police already started issuing dispersal orders in Cleveland. So far, no one was reported injured or killed throughout the protests.