The Times owes the citizens of this community, especially Granite City Baptist Church, an apology for their vile, hate-filled editorial. Throughout their editorial, the Times used words that agitated. It started in the opening paragraph of their editorial when they said “And so it continues — this tour of anti-Islam, anti-immigrant, fear-mongering speakers who parachute in to St. Cloud, spread their messages of hate and misinformation and then (convenient only for them) leave.” It continued, saying that Usama Dakdok’s presentation has “become well-known for his evil schtick about how Islam is a “savage cult” and that Muslims will soon dominate this country.”
The Times instructed people to listen “to local faith leaders, not Dakdok.”
The Times covered the Friday night presentation relatively fairly in their news section. I wrote this article to highlight the vandalism visited upon Granite City Baptist Church prior to Friday night’s presentation. What’s missing is the Times’ editorial telling people to stand with Granite City Baptist Church in denouncing this vandalism.
Perhaps, that’s because the Times’ editorial included this:
Based on news reports, it’s a classic example of Dakdok’s strategy: Pick smaller cities and rural communities where Muslims are new and few (if any) in number and deliver his toxic message. Plus, of course, collect the obligatory free-will offering. Then pack up and leave — quick, before the waves of hate he’s fostered can crest across the community. (And before people can research for themselves his message.)
Faced with such a despicable dump-and-run tactic, this board urges faith leaders across St. Cloud and all of Central Minnesota to speak up again. Use their influential voices, their powerful sermons, their compassionate followers and even the Times Opinion section to refute Dakdok’s divisive message.
The Times spent a bunch of bandwidth talking about Dakdok’s hateful schtick. Now that the protesters have committed an act of vandalism, it’s possible that the Times might want to get this episode behind them. This isn’t a proud moment for the St. Cloud Times or for Mark Jaede. Jaede issued this press release through the SCSU Announce listserv:
The next day, the Times published its hate-filled editorial.
What a surprise.
Let Freedom Ring Blog gets its name because there was alot of democracy breaking out worldwide when I first started blogging. Putin, Kuchma & Yanukovich had tried stealing an election from Yuschchenko in the Ukraine, which started the Orange Revolution. The first election had just taken place in Afghanistan. The ‘Purple Finger’ elections in Iraq were right around the corner. The images of the ink-stained fingers from Iraq’s election on January 30, 2005 so fired up the Lebanese living under Syria’s thumb that the Syrians assassinated Rafiq Harriri, starting the Cedar Revolution.
During this blog’s short history, I’ve written about the incredible history being made before my eyes. I’ve written about Kuwait becoming the first Arab country to have a woman serving in their cabinet. I’ve written about the municipal elections that the House of Saud ‘permitted’ just last year. I’ve written about Egypt’s changing their laws to have contested elections. There’s still alot of reform needed in these countries but I believe that the 21st Century will be known as the Democracy Century when its history is written.
Just as there are historical events happening in the Middle East, likewise there are historical decisions facing Americans, decisions that determine what type of country we’ll live in.
The types of judges that get confirmed will tell us whether we’re a nation that reveres the wisdom of our Founding Fathers or if we’ll tolerate a majority of Supreme Court justices dictate the Constitution’s meaning. Should we choose the latter course, we should expect that Supreme Court to set policy without ‘We the People’ having a say in the policies.
The next President, and to a lesser extent, the next Congress, will tell us whether we’re serious as a nation of enforcing our borders and whether we’ll take the GWOT seriously. The stakes couldn’t be higher!!! Making the right decisions in November, 2006 will determine whether we have Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner demanding real immigration reform or whether Chairman Conyers will hold impeachment hearings over a policy dispute.
Making the right decisions in November, 2006 will determine whether we have Chairman Leahy confirming a Justice O’Connor clone or whether we have Chairman Specter confirming a Chief Justice Roberts.
While those decisions don’t rank up there with the decision to declare our independance from English rule, they are nonetheless big decisions that will affect this generation & much of the next generation of Americans.
This blog is committed to being an advocate for making decisions using logic & intelligence & verifiable facts. Come along for the ride.