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Indivisible Rapid City has worked very hard to bring attention to anti-Islam presentations brought to our community. It has come to our attention that yet another one will be held on Monday, September 11, 2017 in Memorial Park at the band shell. The event is being billed as a celebration of Patriot Day to pray for first responders, government, church, military, families, education, media and business. While Indivisible supports all of our first responders, our government, military, families and everyone's right to practice their religion of choice, we also recognize that this is a very thin veil being used to cover their true purpose. 

 

The speaker will be Kamal Saleem, who is identified as a, "rabid islamophobe" by Southern Poverty Law Center. Some of his claims are, "83% of American mosques teach radicalism, " "Obama is a Muslim", "in 20 years America will be a country of lost liberty," and "radical Muslims are set to penetrate every level of American society." [1] Saleem claims that he was born in Beirut, Lebanon (1957) and was raised to hate and want to kill non-Muslims. He says he was recruited into the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) when he was 7 years old. So his recruitment would have been in 1964 or 1965. The PLO was not known to be in Beirut until the 1970s so this claim is quite questionable. He also claimed to be a member of both the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood however, the groups are arch rivals. [2] Saleem has also made assertions that the Muslim Brotherhood has placed a large bounty on his head. He says that in 2007 he reported to police that his hotel room in Chino Hills, California was broken into and a group of “Middle Easterners” were after him. The local police deny having any record of a report along these lines. [3] In January of 2017 Saleem is quoted saying, “Placing Ellison in charge of the DNC is a signal by the Democrats that they want radical Muslims to step forward and stand beside us and fight against this conservative movement in the United States of America. And in the perspective, the Muslim Brotherhood are stepping in and now the DNC is thinking this is a smart move because these people are ruthless, they’re shrewd, they’re strong and they’re terrorists, they will make the difference for them and now they will conquer the nation back for them.” [4] 

 

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On 29 July Senator Rounds had an article in the RC Journal titled "Obamacare is Killing Health Care". It was an attempted to defend the Republican position on health care and was totally misleading. He talked about a competitive market based system as the way to achieve affordable health care. After decades of a system driven by the desires of industry we can compare the affordability of our system using data provided by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 2015 the average of 10 other rich nations was $5,000 per capita. In that year the US spent $9,500 per capita. They had universal coverage and we had over 30 million uninsured. In 2009 a Harvard Medical School study estimated that 45,000 people died unnecessarily due to a lack of health insurance. Additionally hundreds of thousands are driven into bankruptcy by medical bills.

 

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Bob Wilfong and others at Health Care Protest at Sen. Rounds' Rapid City Office on 7/6/17

 

 By: Bob Wilfong  

You will sometimes hear Republicans say we have the best health care in the world. Perhaps that's true if you are able to go to a top notch facility. The issue is not how well our best medical organizations perform but how well our health care system performs in the service of the entire population. And, by that measure, the performance of the U.S. health care system is last among developed nations. Our unregulated free market system has been failing us for decades. A July 2017 Commonwealth Fund study report titled "Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care" found the performance of the U.S. system was last when compared to 10 high income nations.

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Stopping the Manipulation of Fear

 

   When Rapid City Indivisible decided to shed light on the Islamophobic groups and presentations in our community we had no idea the we would be shining that light on our local Republican Party as well as some local churches. These organizations prey on the fear and misunderstanding people may have about Islam. Like any religion, Islam is very complicated so misunderstandings are easily manipulated unless one does some research on the topic. This manipulation is especially easy when the person or groups maintain that they are experts in “that threat” or messengers of God.

 

   It is impossible to cover all the manipulated facts used to instill fear in people about Islam, but we would like to cover some of the most common topics used. We at Indivisible Rapid City are not experts on any religion, hate group, political party or church. We are simply citizens of the larger community who see something very negative going on in Rapid City. We want to help our community understand what is happening and how we can stand up to what we feel is wrong. We have done as much research as possible to shed light on the misinformation we feel is being spread. All of our sources of information are annotated in this blog post. We encourage everyone to read the links for deeper understanding of each topic.

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Our followers may remember back in March and April I wrote two blogs on a hate group that put on a presentation in Rapid City in April. If you did not see them here are the links to each. https://www.indivisiblerapidcity.org/blog/17-why-we-are-protesting-act-for-america.html and https://www.indivisiblerapidcity.org/blog/15-stop-islamophobia-in-rapid-city.html  These blogs will give some background information on the ACT for America group as well as what local entities have supported them in the past.

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