Bluestem's not a big fan of the tactic of attempts to get speaking events cancelled, so as Bagley Public High School once again finds itself in the midst of a dust-up over an anti-Muslim speaker, we're wondering if more education might be a better strategy to counter tonight's John Guandolo event in the Northwest Central Minnesota small town in Clearwater County.
The Guandolo event isn't the first flashpoint in the war on Muslims in Bagley, Minnesota. In the summer of 2014, Dakdok appeared for three nights after the conservative litigation, education, and policy organization Liberty Council (which Right Wing Watch describes here and the Southern Poverty Law Center here) threatened the school with legal action, according to the Brainerd Dispatch.
Bluestem Prairie was first to report about the event in last week's Found onYour QFM calendar: disgraced FBI agent turned anti-Muslim activist in Bagley Oct. 18. According to a forwarded email from Guandolo's organization Understanding The Threat, several events are scheduled across Minnesota, although times and places were not mentioned.
Our post is mentioned in a new press release issued by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN):
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on administrators of Bagley High Schoo lin Bagley, Minn., to cancel an event this evening featuring notorious Islamophobe and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo.SEE: Disgraced FBI Agent Turned Anti-Muslim Activist in Bagley Oct. 18http://www.bluestemprairie.
com/bluestemprairie/2016/10/ your-qfm-calendar-disgraced- fbi-agent-turned-anti-muslim- activist-guandolo-in-bagley- oct-18.htmlThe Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that tracks hate groups in America, describes Guandolo as "a disreputable character, who regularly attacks the U.S. government, claims that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a secret Muslim agent for the Saudi government and says that American Muslims 'do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.'"CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: John GuandoloVideo: Islamophobe John Guandolo Claims CIA Director John Brennan is a Secret Muslim"Islamophobes like John Guandolo have the right to spew their misinformation and bigotry, but they don't have the right to do it using a taxpayer-funded academic institution as a platform," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "The perception that the high school may be endorsing Guandolo's anti-Muslim bigotry could lead to a hostile learning environment for Muslim and other minority students."He suggested that high school administrators tell Guandolo to find a private venue for his talk.In June of this year, a Texas college canceled a similar event. The college's decision came following a request by CAIR's Dallas-Fort Work chapter.SEE: Texas College Cancels Controversial Law Enforcement Training Event Led by 'Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist'http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/world/americas/texas- college-cancels-controversial- law-enforcement-training- event-led-by-anti-muslim- conspiracy-a7061731.htmlEx-FBI Agent John Guandolo to Host Anti-Muslim Training at Texas CollegeSEE: CAIR-Dallas Asks College to Cancel Law Enforcement 'Training' by Islamophobe John Guandolohttp://www.cair.com/press- center/press-releases/13562- cair-dallas-asks-college-to- cancel-law-enforcement- training-by-islamophobe-john- guandolo.htmlBackgrounder on Islamophobe John Guandolo:Last year, CAIR welcomed the withdrawal of an FBI representative from an event in Texas that was initially sponsored by the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America and featured Guandolo.SEE: FBI Withdraws from Texas Event Initially Sponsored by Hate Group and Featuring Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theoristhttp://www.cair.com/press- center/press-releases/12832- fbi-withdraws-from-texas- event-sponsored-by-hate-group. htmlVirginia's Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy rescinded its approval of in-service training credits for state law enforcement scheduled to attend a training Guandolo was conducting in Culpeper, Va., after being made aware of his anti-Islam rhetoric.SEE: Virginia Agency Pulls Accreditation for Anti-Muslim Traininghttp://www.cair.com/press- center/press-releases/12387- virginia-agency-pulls- accreditation-for-anti-muslim- training.htmlA sheriff in Kansas decided not to partner with a citizens group sponsoring a Guandolo training after being informed of his conspiracy theories. When a journalist at Kansas' Wichita Eagle covered the controversy, Guandolo accused the reporter of material support of terrorism.SEE: Kansas Sheriff Won't Partner on Training by John Guandolohttp://www.cair.com/press- center/cair-in-the-news/12503- kansas-sheriff-wont-partner- on-training-by-john-guandolo. htmlA number of Arizona police departments decided not to send officers to one of Guandolo's trainings.CAIR: Arizona Police Departments Drop Out of Islamophobic Traininghttp://www.cair.com/press- center/press-releases/12655- arizona-police-departments- drop-out-of-islamophobic- training.htmlGuandolo left the FBI shortly after reports surfaced that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with a key witness in a corruption trial targeting a member of Congress. In addition he is documented as having falsified his credentials and work experience.Major General Tony Cucolo, Commandant of the US Army War College, informed CAIR in an email: "Mr. Guandolo's claim (in print) that he teaches at the Army War College and any other references (e.g., online) identifying him as an adjunct instructor here are simply untrue."The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil- rights/report-an-incident/ view/form.htmlCAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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