Tapio Statements on Islam drawing a difference of opinion in GOP Primary for Congress

Seth Tupper has an article at the Rapid City Journal today which seems to draw some lines of demarcation between the candidates in the GOP Primary.

State Senator Neal Tapio has drawn a hard line against the practice of Islam.

Former Governor’s Chief of Staff Dusty Johnson has drawn a line in favor of the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion.

…and Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is doing her best to straddle the fence, and avoid direct statements:

But in a Friday press release, state Sen. Neal Tapio, a Republican from Watertown who has said he plans to enter the U.S. House race, questioned whether the First Amendment applies to the religion of Islam as practiced by adherents known as Muslims.

“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 [million] self-described Muslims, who believe in the deadly political ideology that believes you should be killed for leaving Islam?” Tapio wrote.


“We’re a country founded on freedom of religion, and that’s what the initial Founding Fathers fought for is freedom of religion,” she said in response to the Journal’s first question.

Next, the Journal asked if religious freedom extends to Muslims. Krebs said, “This nation has the right to practice the religion of choice.”


The interview ended with her never having said “yes” or “no” to the question of whether she supports religious freedom specifically for Muslims.

Johnson, a Republican from Mitchell who formerly served as a public utilities commissioner and as chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, said he “absolutely” supports the right of American Muslims to practice their religion.

“We live in dangerous times, and I know there are people across the globe and at home who hold extreme and un-American views,” Johnson said. “But I think we need to confront those threats with targeted, nuanced, intelligent solutions, and I think stereotyping all American Muslims is a great way to grab headlines, but a lousy way to keep us safe.”

Read us all here.

What do you think?  Do we want government telling us how to practice our faith? Do we object to that kind of oversight? Or should we all straddle the fence in some wiggly way?

38 Replies to “Tapio Statements on Islam drawing a difference of opinion in GOP Primary for Congress”

  1. Anonymous

    Finally, the Journal asked if the freedom of religion extends to the religion of Islam.

    “Any religion,” Krebs replied.

    It seems like Tupper skewed that article against Krebs because he couldn’t force her to word her answer the way he wanted her to word it.

  2. Anon

    1) Various religions have historically included practices that would be incompatible with the values of our Republic.

    2) It has not been uncommon in human history for religious practices to include prostitution or human sacrifice. We certainly wouldn’t recognize an individual’s right to perform either of those acts in service to their faith.
    3) We have already restricted religious practices here in the United States; we do not allow Mormons to practice polygamy as part of their faith.
    4) Given that we do in fact restrict those religious practices that are inconsistent with the values of our Republic, why would we be willing to allow those who practice cultural jihad as part of their faith threaten the very legal fabric of our society?

  3. Anon

    Because Anon, we don’t restrict religion on the values of our society. We restrict religion on the laws of our society. List the laws broken or even asked to be broken by any Islamic person in South Dakota. There have been none!
    Now, step out of your Nazi mindset and understand that in USA we judge people not groups. That’s the American way.

      1. Jaa Dee

        The point sir, is you despise the idea of “freedom of religion”..the Constitution… You would crush one of the pillars of a free Democracy and insult the Founders of this country that fought against and would be sickened by the un–American bigotry. you would prescribe for the country they created

        We do not discriminate against religious beliefs and the espousing of those beliefs…. We have laws against breaking the laws of this country…. I notice that you neglected to mention things in your bible that are as heinous and unacceptable to a civilized society as anything of another religion…Do you want a list?.. Do you have any idea what I am referring to?….. I sir,am an atheist, I believe the world would be better if ALL religions had died a 1,000years ago… They did not and our country practices freedom for all religious BELIEFS…. You can respect that or find yourself a country of theocratic tyranny….

    1. Anon

      Many years ago there was a man I Sioux Falls who beat his son so severely for dishonoring his family that the child crawled to the neighbors’ apartment and required about 100 sutures to repair the wounds.
      Dad went to prison and went on a hunger strike, complaining that his religion required him, as a father, to beat his child within an inch of his life. And he maintained that the state had no business imposing it’s values on him

  4. Anon

    Your point is that we should restrict followers of Islam (as a group) by some arbitrary set of values that you approve of.
    In America we judge people as individuals and the criteria for judgment is the legal system.
    You’re out of bounds and borderline groupthink Nazism.

  5. Troy Jones

    Anon 11:07:

    I will answer your questions:

    1) You are correct and our Constitution allows them to practice their religion even its values are contrary to ours and our Constitution allows them to speak freely about their religion.

    2) Nor murder, child abuse, selling human organs. So what is your point?

    3) Actually, because the US values freedom, Mormon’s (and hedonists) can practice polygamy. We just don’t extend any legal protections or privileges we extend to other marital relationships.

    4) We restrict NO/NONE/NADA religious practices because they “are inconsistent with the values of our Republic.” We restrict religious practices which violate the rights of others because no right is absolute and not limited by other rights. So, if a bunch of Muslims want to engage in “cultural jihad” through free speech, right to assemble, religious worship, and legal personal conduct, they have that right in the United States. And, we have to fight that “cultural jihad” in the same way we need to fight secularism- by free speech, assembly, prayer, worship, and legal personal conduct (I am always amazed at the power of the witness of being a kind person).

    I’m not afraid of these people because I’m confident in the Providential protection afforded ANYONE doing God the Creator’s will.

    1. Anon


      1) They may exercise their religion so long as the exercise of that religion does not violate our laws.

      2) My point is that we do in fact restrict certain forms of religious exercise.

      3) No, you’re quite wrong. Polygamy is illegal in every state in the union. Cohabitation in the form of common law marriage is illegal if a person is already married to an individual other than the one with whom they are practicing common law marriage.

      4) Semantic word games.

    2. Tara Volesky

      Troy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not condone polygamy. It is against their religion. They follow the constitution.

  6. Anon

    You seem unable to grasp that there are no restrictions on religions. The LDS Church can promote polygamy without penalty. Only an individual Mormon can be penalized if they break the law and are multiple married.
    In Short … Laws regulate people not religions.
    If you continue to disagree cite a law directed at a religion not directed at the individual members of that religion.

  7. Anonymous

    Dusty, Tim, and Neal seem forceful and confident. Especially Neal.

    Shantel seems tentative, as though she is nervous of saying something unpopular. That’s not a great look for her.

  8. Troy Jones

    Anon 12:24,

    1) Yes, they can worship, pray, and speak as they wish. There actions may be limited, as ours can be.

    2) We limit actions which excessively impose on other’s rights. This applies to religious or non-religious actions.

    3) Polygamy is illegal if one utilizes various legal marriage institutions or benefits. There is no law which would prevent a man and four women forming a household and living privately in that house as man and wives. Problems may arise if they present themselves as married. However, in the privacy of their home, they may do as they please according to the polygamous teachings of historical Mormonism.

    4) If you think this is semantic word games, you have no an iota on how our Constitution and laws work. They are words on paper authorized by legitimate governmental entities (or sometimes direct referendums). The Constitution and the law is about words, at least to those of us who are strict constructionists. Maybe in the liberal fuzz minds it is about feelings and stuff. But not in mine.

  9. Anon

    AND …. The Church of Islam doesn’t promote violence. Fundamentalist religious radicals are the problem. There are none in South Dakota, no matter what a disturbed Senator from District Five imagines!!

    1. Anon

      The Qu’ran actually states “disobedient wives should be beaten and sent to beds apart.”

      I suppose it is a kindness that after a man beats his wife he is not supposed to have sex with her, but the fact remains that the Qu’ran advocates domestic violence.

  10. Anon

    All she says, over and over, is “I think …” and “I believe …” She’s paid for an opinion that gullible fools lap up like a hunting dog laps up water. No Validity and No Reality!! Just emotional pain pills for the addicted.

  11. Anon

    If South Dakota Muslims were violent they’d already have come to your and Sibson’s and Hubbel ‘s and Tapio’s house and talked to you in person. Your houses and addresses and phone numbers are all over the internet. If you were lying about me like that you’d do it to my face. Cowards!!

  12. Tara Volesky

    Why won’t they answer back when you ask them if they will denounce Shariha law and the Muslim brotherhood and instead, support the United States Constitution? Just curious.

  13. Anon

    Dusty may have earned my vote purely on this article alone. Not just that I agree with his stance, but the fact that he has a clear understanding and isn’t just saying the most politically expedient thing…

    1. Anonymous

      I agree. Patrick Lalley (KSOO) tweeted after a pretty robust give and take with Dusty on his radio show a few weeks ago that Dusty is comfortable in his own brain.

      He’s right.

  14. Tara Volesky

    I wouldn’t go that far. I would like to hear all the facts from both sides. I like Tapio because this wouldn’t be an issue without him. Trump, the same way.

  15. Steve Sibson

    The media is playing a game of deception yet again. The Muslim Brotherhood does not represent all Muslims, even though that is one of their goals. The question should be:

    Does the Muslim Brotherhood, who has declared the United States their enemy, have a Constitutional right to conduct their Jihad with the aim of destroying the same Constitution and replacing it with Sharia Law?

  16. Troy Jones


    The US Constitution allows one to articulate and advocate for change in our government at the ballot box or in all policies via established means (primarily legislative process) including changes to our Constitution which I guess would include its wholesale replacement. In particular however, the Smith Act (among others) make it illegal to advocate such change in government in policies using violent or extra-legislative means.

    1. Steve Sibson

      Right Troy. And for those who are exposing that agenda: Should we be charged with being bigots, racists, and Islamophobes, when the purpose is to defend the Constitution from the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups whose purpose is to establish Sharia on a worldwide basis under the direction of a Caliph?

      First, it seems to me that the media is distracting us from dealing with that question. Second, Tapio’s warnings are to protect the religious rights of those who have converted from Islam? Thus, charging Tapio with being a racist and a bigot is a false allegation that we all should be appalled at, instead of being in agreement with. In other words, if the Islamist are successful in implementing their supremacist goal, the very idea of religious freedom is destroyed.

  17. Anon

    You’re not helping anyone, Sibson. Trying to excuse your bigotry is futile. You’re fully exposed as are the others. Prove the Brotherhood is in SoDak or STFU!!

  18. Troy Jones


    I wouldn’t let the charge of being a bigot, etc. get to you. Be comfortable with your own skin and don’t worry about it.

    I said on another thread I think Tapio is giving these whackos too much credit. In a year, our military under better leadership has virtually obliterated the so-called and self-appointed Caliphate. They are like termites. While you have to spray for termites, you don’t have to spray for termites everyday.

    Many of their former sponsors have disappeared and in some cases switched sides. I just don’t have the same fear of these whackos you do. Domestically or non-domestically. So Tapio’s “warning” doesn’t do much for me.

    In fact, I find Tapio’s warning harmful because:

    1) It distracts from more pressing matters, and
    2) It alienates Muslims who otherwise would be helping us ferret out those Muslims who want to do us harm.

    1. Steve Sibson

      “It alienates Muslims who otherwise would be helping us ferret out those Muslims who want to do us harm.”

      That is the true definition of an Islamophobe. Scared we may piss then off. As I said, we should be standing up to the Islamists for the sake of religious liberty for the moderate Muslims, and the rest of us. It is the false allegations coming from Taneeza Islam, Cory Heidelberger, and South Dakota’s media that is alienating by promoting the mantra that the people that truly want to protect them from the supremacy of the Islamists are haters, bigots, and Islamophobes.

      ” It distracts from more pressing matters”

      That is a red herring. There is no reason we can work on more than one thing at a time. Sadly, the Chamber’s crony capitalists think providing more candidates for the Wahhabi indoctrination being pushed by Mosques in America is also a source of cheap labor. So let us not talk about the former, and not admit the latter. That is the very similar stealth tactic the Muslim Brotherhood is using to further their Civilizational Jihad, which still has a global Caliphate as its goal.

  19. Troy Jones


    1) When the general message is “Islam is a religion of hate” and there are inferences all Muslims are terrorists, I don’t think most Muslims (even those who are not radicalized and oppose terrorism) are going to feel very good about cooperating with law enforcement.

    2) I agree we can do more than one thing. And President Trump has proved it by the decimation of ISIS and the Caliphate. But, Tapio’s statements like “This* is the most important issue facing the freedom-loving world” cause the issue to become a distraction and taken out of proportion.

    *Immigration and refugee resettlement

    BTW, your inference my position is a tactic somehow to further the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood is let’s just say a reversion to the old Steve. Discuss the merits without the logic fallacies.

    1. Steve Sibson

      “inferences all Muslims are terrorists”

      Those are words being put into our mouths by the Taneeza Islams, the Cory Heidelbergers, and the South Dakota media. My issue is with the Muslim Brotherhood, not with Muslims. I have made that point more than once. And so have others during their presentations.

      And I am just saying the Muslim Brotherhood’s Civilizational Jihad uses stealth tactics. The whistleblowers are included in their false accusations of being Islamophobes. Taneeza Islam called Shahram Hadian, a Muslim convert to Christian pastor, an Islamophobe when he came to Sioux Falls to tell his side of the story. She is outside protesting, while a Jihadi is inside with guns and a Koran. I can be seen on his video recording. Then he goes out to his car and told us to be terrified as he shows off his assault weapons.

      There was one Muslim whose three questions were welcomed and answered. There was a liberal social justice warrior who pulled a Cory Heidelberger and had to leave in order for civil discussion to continue. Clearly the Islamist, the cultural Neo-Marxist leftists, and the liberal crony capitalists do not want the word to get out.

      We don’t know what goes on in Mosques any better than what we know goes on in Chamber of Commerce closed door meetings, until we get tips from insiders. Then the whistleblowers then receive retribution, as their story id denied. That is what “alienates Muslims who otherwise would be helping us ferret out those Muslims who want to do us harm.” Not those of use who listen to what they say, and believe it to be true. It takes great courage for a convert like Shahram Hadian to go public knowing that the Islamists will go after him in the same way they went after Pam Geller. There are a lot of good American Arabs who deserve our respect. They don’t deserve to be called Islamophobes. And neither does Senator Tapio.

      1. Ike

        1% of Americans are Muslim. 2% of Americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I know which ones scare me more.


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