Hooray! Aberdeen has put itself on the map!
Oh, wait—it’s the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map:
Good job, Amanda, Jessica, and Paul! And special kudos to Senator Al Novstrup for not only remaining silent in the face of his neighbors’ anti-Muslim antipathy but winning them more publicity by helping spread the group’s falsehoods!
These groups also typically hold conspiratorial views regarding the inherent danger to America posed by its Muslim-American community. Muslims are viewed as a fifth column intent on undermining and eventually replacing American democracy and Western civilization with Islamic despotism, a conspiracy theory known as “civilization jihad.” Anti-Muslim hate groups allege that Muslims are trying to subvert the rule of law by imposing on Americans their own Islamic legal system, Shariah law. The threat of the Muslim Brotherhood is also cited, with anti-Muslim groups constantly attacking Muslim civil rights groups and American Muslim leaders for their supposed connections to the Brotherhood. Many of these groups have pushed for the Brotherhood to be designated a foreign terrorist organization.
Anti-Muslim hate groups also broadly defame Islam, which they tend to treat as a monolithic and evil religion. These groups generally hold that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.
In recent years, the most influential groups — namely ACT for America and the think tank Center for Security Policy (CSP) — have sought to develop closer relationships with elected officials both at the state and local level. A shift in targets has also taken place recently with the Syrian refugee crisis, as anti-Muslim groups have increasingly directed their ire toward the American refugee program. Refugees are commonly depicted as potential terrorist infiltrators by these organizations. Small anti-refugee groups have popped up across the country and fought the relocation of refugees at the hyper-local level [Southern Poverty Law Center, “Anti-Muslim,” 2017.02.15].
In South Dakota, SPLC also flags the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints statewide and at their Pringle compound, replica Nazi memorabilia peddler PzG Inc. in Rapid City, right-wing blog American Clarion in Rapid City, and the white supremacist Midland Hammerskins (“Midland” as in the middle region of the U.S., not the second-largest metropolis in Haakon County).