According to his calendar on The Straight Way Ministry, anti-Islam extremist pastor Usama Dakdok will return to Greater Minnesota's Islamophobic speaking circuit in September and October.
September 20: Brimson
The Egyptian-born Christian will speak to a closed meeting in Brimson, a tiny town in St. Louis County on September 20, according to the schedule.
September 30: St. Cloud's Granite City Baptist Church
On Friday, September 30, Dakdok will have a return appearance at the Granite City Baptist Church in St. Cloud; the topic of his talk is "Revealing the Truth about the Jihad and Terrorism of Islam."
Frequent host to anti-Muslim events, the Granite City Baptist Church hosted Dakdok in May. The St. Cloud Times reported in Anti-Islam preacher draws crowd, protest:
People packed Granite City Baptist Church on Friday night to listen to a controversial preacher who calls Islam a dangerous cult. Meanwhile, a group of 100 or so protesters gathered in the rain to denounce his views.
Usama Dakdok has been visiting Central Minnesota cities in the past week. He is the founder of the Florida-based Straight Way of Grace Ministry, and he is a Christian who grew up in Egypt. . . .
Not everyone who disagreed with Dakdok wanted to protest. A group of Somali community members released a statement late Thursday saying the best way to deal with him was not to respond in that manner.
Still, the statement sharply criticized his message. "Although we understand this individual's right to free speech, we strongly disagree with his attempt to cause disharmony and to sow division in our community," the statement read.
The statement also noted that someone set fire to a Muslim-owned business in Grand Forks, where Dakdok has spoken.
"We understand that this individual does not speak for Christians and Jews or other peoples of faith because faith by its very nature inspires love, trust, sharing, caring and uplifting human beings," it said. . . .
A report in the Star Tribune about a Somali woman being asked on her doorstep to leave town or else have her home burned down, Threat against Somali woman in Little Falls investigated as hate crime, mentioned that the firebrand pastor was invited to town by the Central Minnesota Tea Party in May. He spoke on "Revealing the Truth about ISIS."
October 10: Grand Rapids' Saw Mill Inn
Finally, Dakdok will have another repeat performance, as a guest of the Grand Rapids chapter of Act! for America, Acting for Grand Rapids, on Monday, October 10.
Acting for Grand Rapids complained on its blog in July that the Book of Signs Foundation had mailed a copy of the Quran to everyone in the 55744 zip code--and that the translation didn't make Islam look mean enough, unlike Dakdok's version. The blog post didn't provide a link to the foundation, which describes itself as "Your Source of Mainstream Islamic Literature."
For the Anti-Muslim organizers in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, apparently there's no such thing. The group bills itself as (all spelling variations in the original copy):
ACTing! for Gand Rapids is a chapter of ACT! for America located in Grand Rapids Minnesota. We are a group of residents of Itasca County who believe, that while every issue has two sides, only one side of the issue of Muslims in America has been presented or allowed to be presented. It is our mission to educate and present the truth to the residents of Itasca County and surrunding areas about the dangers of bringing in vast numbers of Muslims under the banner of “refugees” and the effect on our communities, society, culture and the values that have made this country great. We are completely non-partisan and we support no political party, elected oficial or candidate for office. We believe that this issue is neither a Democratic issue nor is it a Republican issue…it is an American issue.
Jumping Jihadists! Who knew Itasca County was under such a threat?
The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Act! for America the "largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America." The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has prepared a CAIR Islamophobia Backgrounder: ACT! for America and 'Brigitte Gabriel'. Although somewhat dated, this 2011 backgrounder from the Anti-Defamation League is also helpful, as are the many posts on the group at Right Wing Watch.
ACT! for America's most wacky moment in Minnesota occurred in 2013 when Brigitte Gabriel's fear of "somebody hiding gun in camera & 'shoot[ing] me w/ laser'" stopped a New Ulm Journal reporter from videotaping the event.
Earlier Dakdok moments
A Dakdok appearance has become a feature for the North Star State's anti-Muslim and anti-refugee movement, and this swing through the state will be his third in 2016. In April, Bluestem reported Anti-Islam speaker Usama Dakdok will appear at April Bloomington & Duluth Worldview Weekends; in May, we reported that Islamophobic pastor Usama Dakdok [would] speak in Morrison, Todd, Stearns and Itasca Counties in late May.
Dakdok spoke in Austin and Rochester in 2011, but gained notoriety in Minnesota after speaking engagements in Bagley [2013-2014] and just over the river in Grand Forks provoked protest and conflict. Recent appearances in Bemidji, largely attended by elderly people, went on without protest according to a Forum Communications staff writer's report, 'Islam is a barbaric, savage cult,' Usama Dakdok tells crowd in Bemidji.
Dakdok's provocative talks in Grand Forks earned a place in the Washington Post story, Trump’s effect on Muslim migrant debate reverberates in heartland, which looked at Grand Forks after the appearance of Nazi graffiti on, and firebombing of, the Juba Cafe.
While there are those who would like to reset the rise of the circuit to 2015 or 2016, mostly for earnest fundraising purposes in the St. Cloud area, this nonsense has been carrying on for much longer than just the last couple of years. Nor is it caused by Donald Trump, as ready as Minnesotans are to blame someone from the outside for our own failings.
Photo: Dakdok in Bemidji. It's possible that Dakdok and his allies may schedule additional events in Minnesota. Please post any additional events you learn of in our comments section (if you don't want the comment published, please let us know.
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