verb (used without object)
1 to cry out or speak with a strong, loud, clear sound; shout: He always yells when he is angry.
2 to scream with pain, fright, etc.
In a news article last week, Dana Fergussen, political reporter for the Argus Leader, characterized my attendance at an Interfaith event at the capital as out of control. Specifically, she described my speaking style with the word “yelling.” This is a gross misrepresentation, and possibly even a libelous characterization of my attendance. Accompanying photos were chosen by Argus Leader staff to portray me as a raging madman. The result of this characterization has led to vitriolic national attention, as the Gannet news system picked up her story nationally.
The Argus story now is the foundational source document in the national left wing echo chamber that amplifies the idea I was wildly out of control.
I have been around the political bushes for over twenty years. I know how this works. it is nearly impossible to have an honest dialogue on difficult subjects.
Despite the name calling and vitriol, I am determined to have a conversation with the people of South Dakota using reason and common sense.
I began preparing to discuss Islamic terrorism in public over 3 years ago. Long before I ran for the Senate, I met with the major media outlets around the state to express my concerns with the subject and to alert them to the dangers of talking about this subject in public.
I have followed strict guidelines in order to protect myself from being misrepresented in public. I made the decision that all of my communications needed to be recorded and extremely sensitive discussions must be exchanged via prepared statements. I communicate via text with many journalists so as to have a written record of everything I say. I provide background to many journalists on everything I plan to do, and have done so over the course of several years. I warned many of them the subject matter is so volatile that once a political journalist fails to accurately tell the story, they might become part of the story. No journalist should be a part of the story this delicate and dangerous.
As to the events on Interfaith Day. There are no less than 5 people that video taped the event. These will come out at the right time.
To all of the other media in the state, I sincerely appreciate the accuracy of other reporters who covered the event. Their coverage was very fair. More importantly, it was accurate.
As an aside, it is my habit to offer as much detail about my positions as possible to the press. I do not, nor ever have avoided the press.
To the editors and the papers covering my stance on Islamic terrorism. You have the right to disagree with my views in your editorial pages. I respect that. It is important to accurately present my views on the news pages.
There is a concerted effort on the part of an international infiltration group of terrorists called the Muslim Brotherhood to push the preposterous idea that Islam has nothing to do with terror. These efforts must be crushed. To deny this basic fact is complete foolishness. It is a slap in the face to all those people living under repressive regimes that implement a hateful and deadly belief system that kills you for leaving Islam. More importantly, it is an insult to the American men and women in uniform, and their families, that offer their lives in defense of freedom around the world.
My position on Islamic terrorism comes from the following line of logic.
1. Fourteen Islamic countries, which practice the full implementation of Islamic Law, known as sharia law, kill you for leaving Islam.
2. Estimates based on Pew Research data, show up to 350 million people, who call themselves Muslim, believe you should be killed for leaving Islam.
3. Up to 50 Somali Muslims from Minnesota attempted to join ISIS, an organization founded on the full implementation of Islamic Law.
4. These Somali Muslims were not refugees. They were children of refugees.
5. The vetting system doesn’t vet people already here, therefore Betty Odencamp, the highly paid director of Lutheran Social Services, is wrong when she says refugees have been vetted, and therefore our communities are safe. Facts do not back her up.
6. There are over 20 known Islamic terror organizations who believe in the full implementation of Islamic Law. Just a short list includes: Al Queda, ISIS, Boko Horom, Al Shabab, Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, IMM. They believe in the full implementation of Islamic Law.
7. The war on terror is a fight against Islamic terrorist organizations, as well as against and between people and countries that believe in the full implementation of Islamic Law.
8. The cost of this war has exceeded $6.5 trillion and has had a devastating effect on our service men and women and their families.
9. To deny Islam has something to do with terror is dangerous and ignorant. Any person or organization that denies this fact demonstrates their ignorance or has an agenda- an evil agenda to spread the ideology of hate and death around the world.
10. Our country has an obligation to keep out hate and the political ideology of death. President Trump has shown the courage to identify the true source of global terror.
11. With such a large number of people and countries believing in a hateful and deadly political ideology, there are grave concerns about how to keep those people out of an open and free society. There is no way of knowing who believes in that deadly ideology, and who rejects it.
12. Our First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects our very freedom to believe or not to believe, is being challenged by a religion practiced by countries and people who believe you should be killed for leaving it.
13. The question for our generation. Does our Constitution offer protections and rights to a person who believes in the full implementation of Islamic Law, as practiced by 14 Islamic countries and up to 350 self-described Muslims, who believe in the deadly political ideology that believes you should be killed for leaving Islam?
14. To simply raise these points, and to ask these questions, I have been labeled a racist, extremist, xenophobe, and Islamophobe by members of the Interfaith coalition.
There are many Muslims that reject this hatred and deadly ideology. They are too scared for their lives to say it.
America is an ideal subscribing to the COMPLETE and TOTAL freedom of an individual. If you don’t have the freedom to leave a religion, you don’t have the freedom of religion.
I have a challenge to all members of the media who believe in searching for the truth.
Ask the following questions.
At the Interfaith event, an Imam said there was “no compulsion in religion.”
Why do so many Islamic countries, so many Islamic terrorist organizations, and so many people who call themselves Muslim, believe you should be killed for leaving Islam?
What is the foundation of that hatred and death?
Do they condemn any country that subscribes to that deadly ideology and do they think America should keep every person who believes in that deadly belief system out of our country, our state and our communities?
Am I an Islamophobe for asking those questions?
If so, where is the love in Interfaith dialogue?
Ask the following people, who were at the Interfaith event, whether I was “yelling,” or actually respectful.
Senator Stan Adelstein
Other journalists covering the event
Finally, one last question. Ask Stan Adelstein if he has told anyone, prior to, and including the day of the event, if he holds me in contempt, or worse, that I am a racist, Islamophobe and xenophobe.
Then ask him about our 30 minute conversation at the event. Ask him if I yelled, screamed or, or in any way came across as disrespectful in our 30 minute conversation in which he finished up by telling me, “maybe I was misinformed about your beliefs.”
Remember, there were a lot of people filming the event. His answers will be very telling, and the story of the day might turn out to be much different than reported.
One final thought to the press.
In a free country, the ability to speak the truth must always be protected, no matter how unpopular that speech might be.
It’s the reason patriotic Americans volunteer to fight!
District 5 State Senator