GARWOOD, New Jersey — Some people in a New Jersey community are upset at the sight of a black and white ISIS flag flying outside of a neighbor’s home, according to a report on PIX11.com. Once the picture went viral on Twitter, neighbors called police.
The flag, which is used by an Islamic extremist group responsible for violence in Iraq, has since been removed. Neighbors wondered why the flag was raised in the first place.
Mark Dunaway, 44, told NJ.com he has flown the flag for at least 10 years during Ramadan and on Fridays when he goes to mosque without issue, that is until the photo was taken.
“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,” Dunaway said. “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.”
After speaking with the police and learning that his house was on Twitter, Dunaway took the flag down himself given his neighbors concerns.
“He’s totally harmless,” Dunaway’s neighbor Diane Figueiredo said. “He goes to work every day. He never bothers anyone. He keeps to himself.”
“I’m hesitant to fly it now considering it has caused so much trouble, which I don’t understand,” Dunaway said. “I would love to fly it again on Friday. I hope this situation goes away.”
Garwood Police Chief Bruce Underhill issued the following statement regarding the flag: “Please be assured that the Garwood Police are aware of the situation and have taken the appropriate steps. At this time the flag has been voluntarily taken down.”