Friday morning, the Brainerd Dispatch reported that a Presentation against Islam draws protesters inside and outside church.
By Friday evening, the paper reported that the Oak Street Chapel Church board calls for pastor's resignation over anti-Islam presentation.
What happened? Zach Kayser reported Friday morning:
Thursday's talk had about five protesters standing outside the church holding signs saying things like "Reject anti-Muslim bigotry" and "Say no to fear-mongering." Several of the 50 or so Dakdok attendees confronted them. There were heated arguments, but no violence.
Dakdok did some yelling too, often raising his voice in the throes of describing how Islam was infiltrating the news media and politicians and school systems, how Muslims will make war and rape.
"We need to shut them up" by refusing to consume mass media that took a favorable view of Islam, he said.
School boards weren't receptive to Dakdok's message, he said.
"They look at me like I am a crazy guy, they look at me like I am a hateful guy," he said.
The attendees were mostly older people although one man did bring a small child who appeared to be 8 or 9. They listened to Dakdok describe how Allah was actually Satan and there were two secret pillars of Islam—chief practices of the faith—in addition to the five actual pillars. Muhammed was a "child molester" and "sex offender" Dakdok said repeatedly.
Minnesota's leaders were leading its citizens to be slaughtered by the Muslims, he said. The schools were indoctrinating kids to be sympathetic to Muslims. Americans were stupid for letting so many Muslims in, he said.
"They are Muslimizing your children," he said. "They make them fall in love with Islam."
He didn't provide any specific examples that purported to show Islam in textbooks until a man in the audience, Cody Robertson, 22, Fort Ripley, got up to interrupt him, and challenged him to provide some.
When Robertson asked whether the point of Dakdok's speech was to incite hate against Muslims, Dakdok shouted him down, calling him "stupid." He said Robertson was "brainwashed by the stupid liberals." Dakdok asked Robertson if he had read the Quran, and Robertson said he hadn't.
"Then shut up," Dakdok said.
Some of the audience in the church applauded.
"When a Muslim kills you and rapes your wife ... come talk to me," Dakdok told Robertson.
A woman at the meeting tried to get Robertson to leave. Dakdok said Robertson could stay.
The man with the little girl with him also called out Dakdok during the exchange on textbooks.
Activist Robin Hensel of Little Falls video-recorded most of Dakdok's speech. After she confronted Dakdok, she yelled "Get thee behind me, Satan!" and stormed out of the church. . . .
Hensel's video can be viewed here on her blog.
By evening, the Dispatch reported:
The Board of Trustees of Oak Street Chapel in Brainerd plans to ask Pastor Todd Wooden to resign in the wake of a controversial speaker coming to the church Thursday to speak against Islam.
Board President Dace Julifs said Friday that Usama Dakdok's presentation didn't reflect any of the congregation's views and Wooden did not adequately inform the leadership ahead of time about what would take place Thursday. The board members authorized Julifs to ask for Wooden's resignation.
"That was a pastor gone rogue," Julifs said. "Oak Street Chapel, we are a kind and caring and open people."
Wooden has been a member of the non-denominational Christian church since 2000 and has pastored the church since 2013.
Julifs denounced both the presentation and comments Wooden made in a Dispatch article that ran Friday. Although Julifs did know about the presentation in advance, he said, he was under the impression it would be an informative meeting about the Muslim community and how non-Muslims could co-exist with them. The presentation wasn't sanctioned, he said. Wooden is supposed to represent all of the congregation, but instead he looked out for the needs of just one member: Daryl Bahma, whose "Defenders of the Constitution" sponsored the event in the first place.
"They took it upon themselves to use our facilities," Julifs said. "(The) people at Oak Street Chapel are such good people. It's tearing me up to know that they got ran through the mud like this."
The church was forced to take down its website because of all the negative messages they received in response to the presentation, Julifs said. He said the church's web administrator was reduced to tears after she read some of them.
Julifs was unsuccessfully trying to reach Wooden throughout Friday.
Contacted by the Dispatch and informed the board wanted him to resign, Wooden laughed. He said he didn't regret Dakdok speaking in the church and that he wouldn't resign.
"Why would I?" he said.
Wooden said a screaming match between Dakdok and several protesters was "unnecessary." He also took issue with Dakdok repeatedly calling Americans "stupid" for their acquiescence to the spread of Muslims.
Whether Dakdok's presentation was Islamophobic, though, Wooden couldn't say for sure.
"I don't know how to answer that, really, because I really don't understand all the elements of Islam at this point," he said and later added "that would be like calling a Muslim-American America-phobi(c), wouldn't it? Because they're so passionate about Islam being the only way to bring peace to this world."
Now, the congregation will decide whether Wooden stays on as a pastor. . . .
Read both stories at the Brainerd Dispatch. Bluestem Prairie was first to report that the event would take place in our post, Greater hater Usama Dakdok adds Duluth & Brainerd events to fall tour in Minnesota. As we reported in August, Fall tour: Islamophobic pastor Usama Dakdok to speak in Brimson, St. Cloud & Grand Rapids.
The St. Cloud engagement took place at Granite City Baptist Church on Friday evening, where Dakdok has spoken before; the topic of his talk was "Revealing the Truth about the Jihad and Terrorism of Islam." A peace and unity rally at the courthouse "coincided" with the Dakdok appearance, the St. Clod Times reported (without naming Dakdok as the speaker).
Dakdok's last appearance in May drew more direct protests. The St. Cloud Times reported after the event that Anti-Islam preacher draws crowd, protest.
Photo: Dakdok speaking at an event in Minnesota earlier this year.
If you appreciate our posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen, 33166 770th Ave, Ortonville, MN 56278) or use the paypal button in the upper right hand corner of this post.
Or you can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.