East Texas business targeted with Alt Right signs

Updated: Jan. 27, 2017 at 11:17 PM CST
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More flyers appeared in the Times Square shopping center earlier in January. (Source: Facebook)
More flyers appeared in the Times Square shopping center earlier in January. (Source: Facebook)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's a movement that began in Internet forums on websites like Reddit and 4Chan, and has turned into what some call a growing hotbed of white supremacy. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Alternative Right movement as one that "follows a loose set of far-right ideals centered on white identity."

And now, the movement's influence is spilling over into East Texas, as fliers for an off-shoot organization called Identity Evropa are beginning to appear in Tyler. One that read "Equality is a False God" was pasted onto the front door of a dentist's office in Tyler. That dentist is of Arab descent and practices the Muslim faith.

Dr. Mohammad Arif did not want to comment about the incident, saying he just wants to be known as a good neighborhood dentist, but his wife, Fatima Elkabti, spoke with KLTV 7 today.

"Part of us felt threatened and worried," she said. "We didn't know how serious to take it."

She says the family didn't know whether the flyer was placed on Arif's practice as a prank, or if there is someone who does not want them in the area. The family reported the incident to Tyler police, and they shared their story on social media. Elkabti says she's received kind reactions.

"A lot of people were appalled," she said. "Folks reached out and reassured us that doesn't represent Tyler."

Sarah Cummings is one of those who reached out. She and Elkabti met three months ago and connected online. When Cummings saw Elkabti share what happened, she had to say something.

"My reaction [was] that Fatima and Mohammad have neighbors who care about them," Cummings said. "Our responsibility ... is to say this is happening and this isn't okay. It's not representative of our town."

Flyers were found earlier this month at the Times Square Shopping Center., though it's unclear whether the signs were deliberately targeting businesses within the center.

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