Patriot Day Is About Love, Not Hate

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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] 


Sponsors for the event are BigHorn Canyon Church, First Assembly Rapid City, Watchmen on the Wall SD, KSLT 107.1, Breeze 97.9, KLMP 88.3, and National Day of Prayer Black Hills Area. [5] Family Heritage Alliance is not listed as a sponsor for this group but they are promoting the event on their website. [6] BigHorn Canyon Church, First Assembly Rapid City, Watchmen On the Wall, and all three radio stations have sponsored similar anti-Islam events in Rapid City in recent months. [7,8,9] 


Indivisible Rapid City is appalled to see that these fear-mongering groups are using the anniversary of the tragic terrorists attacks on our country as a day to spread misinformation and hate. President George W. Bush originally proclaimed September 11, 2002 as the first Patriot Day and did so each year until he left office. President Bush's first proclamation included, “On this first observance of Patriot Day, we remember and honor those who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We will not forget the events of that terrible morning nor will we forget how Americans responded in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania—with heroism and selflessness; with compassion and courage; and with prayer and hope.” [10] President Barack Obama proclaimed September 11, 2009 as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. The addition of “National Day of Service” was intended to, “ upon all Americans to join in service and honor the lives we lost, the heroes who responded in our hour of need, and the brave men and women in uniform who continue to protect our country at home and abroad...” [11] At the time of this writing, President Trump, has not issued a proclamation for Patriot day. However, in fairness, the proclamations are usually signed close to the date of the noted event and there is still a full business day for him to do so. [12] ADDENDUM: President  Trump did sign a proclamation on 8 Sept. 2017. [13]


Patriot Day was never meant to encourage fear or distrust in our country but to remember and celebrate the good in it.




























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