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Anti-Islam PAC Earns Aberdeen Flag on SPLC Hate Map

Hooray! Aberdeen has put itself on the map!

Oh, wait—it’s the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map:

Southern Poverty Law Center, "Hate Map," published 2017.02.15
Southern Poverty Law Center, “Hate Map,” published 2017.02.15

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!

SPLC counts triple the anti-Muslim groups nationwide that it counted in 2015. SPLC’s profile of these surging hate groups fits what our Aberdeen anti-Islamists have offered:

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].

Wild conspiracy theories, false fearmongering about refugees—yup, that’s my neighbors. Sigh.

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).


  1. grudznick 2017-02-15 17:27

    They might be watering it all down a bit, but maybe they need to add a flag to Fulton, SD, too.

  2. happy camper 2017-02-15 18:15

    Give me a break. Here we have two atheists, one who thinks he is Progressive the other a Republican maligning an average man’s concern about a religion he doesn’t understand but none the less at it’s best is misogynistic, supposedly something Cory doesn’t like, at its extreme (ISIS) doing exactly what Mohammad commanded them to do. This is nothing like defending free speech, this is defending other cultures to discriminate in ways we don’t find tolerable. That’s illiberal and why you are regressive.

  3. grudznick 2017-02-15 18:22

    I wondered why the Midland Hammerskin logo appeared to be on Vivian and not Midland. I assumed these Southern map people who judge everybody just didn’t understand the South Dakota map. Those fellows do mention South Dakota on their website though. The Hammerskins, I mean. But I bet there are none here.

  4. Jenny 2017-02-15 18:31

    Congratulations Aberdonians, all the hate you spewed towards Muslims earned you a hate badge. For as small as SD is, it sure has a lot of hate groups and only one less than the whole state of MN.

  5. Jenny 2017-02-15 18:34

    Look at that hate-filled Republican racist South. You know as we Dems like to say – yesterday’s racist Southern Democrats are today’s racist Republicans.

  6. mike from iowa 2017-02-15 18:58

    HC-got any confessions you want to get off yer chest?

  7. Porter Lansing 2017-02-15 19:47

    Why Aberdeen? Why not Brookings? Huron? Watertown? What’s so attractive to haters in Aberdeen? The political leaders? The citizens? The university? The Federal Center? Branstner? There’s gotta be a reason and it’s getting curiouser and curiouser.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-15 20:33

    Jobs, Porter? We have the beef plant, Molded Fiber Glass, and ag producers with a history of hiring immigrant labor. Does Aberdeen have a higher concentration of immigrant labor than other towns? Probably not as high as Huron’s. Our university has a high foreign population, but more from East Asia than from Muslim countries.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2017-02-15 21:19

    Given South Dakota’s notorious reputation as northern Mississippi it is surprising that SPLC doesn’t have more flags on their map.
    On the other hand, maybe there should be a hate flag over the entire state.

  10. Liberty Dick 2017-02-15 22:52

    That same map has American Clarion down as a hate group…

  11. grudznick 2017-02-15 22:56

    Mr. C, would you see this hate flag over the Piney Ridge and the Rosebud and maybe the Standing Rock? Or do you yourself not see the hate?

    No matter what, I love you, Mr. C.

  12. grudznick 2017-02-15 22:58

    I am informed there is a study that shows that map is the most corrupt and inaccurate map on the internets. Apparently that map is crap. Studies and surveys have shown it.

  13. happy camper 2017-02-16 04:15

    Islam is a fundamentalist religion of oppression. There Mike it’s off my chest. It doesn’t believe in equality for women, gays, and other believers. Cory’s writing, and others from the left, have become inverted from freedom and equality in order to wrap themselves around Muslims and act like their protectors. What a strange road it’s been since Charlie Hebdo when Cory wrote: My rage only grows at the murder of cartoonists, artists armed only with wit, by masked gunmen shouting Islamic slogans in Paris today. The bursting slogan, Je suis Charlie, says “I am Charlie.” If you speak, if you question, if you criticize, if you ridicule, you are Charlie Hebdo.

    Flemming Rose who published the cartoons in the Danish newspaper explains it so well in this hour long interview below with Dave Rubin, why we can’t centure, or self centure speech, which is where Cory and the left have gone in regards to Islam. That religion is open territory, like all ideas, and he explains why it holds back Muslims themselves to give them special status or say we are all the same. It’s not until the end of the interview that he says it would be denial to say that Islam isn’t different, that its core tenants are in fact in line with ISIS and how they use it to control more moderate Muslims. I encourage you to watch this interview and reread Cory’s post Silence Must Not Win.

  14. Porter Lansing 2017-02-16 05:16

    Truthiness per logical fallacies- Just more white supremacist hate speech from the bunker of fear, straight to you folks.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-16 06:02

    Hap, thank you for reminding readers that I’m not nearly as fond of Islam as your comments here suggest. I’m not defending a religion; I’m opposing those who attack people based fear, lies, and selfishness.

  16. Jenny 2017-02-16 06:39

    Radical Traditional Catholicism is targeted as a hate group on this map and there’s a group in MN.

    HC, you say Islam does not believe in equality for woman and gays and other believers. That’s why I fled from the Catholic church (among other hypocrisies). Catholicism is a fundamentalist religion of oppression with an institution full of vast hidden secrets and great wealth. The depths of its corruption was just barely scratched at the surface when the priest sex scandal was brought to light. Catholicism and Islam are cousins.

  17. mike from iowa 2017-02-16 07:28

    Islam is a fundamentalist religion of oppression. There Mike it’s off my chest. It doesn’t believe in equality for women, gays, and other believers.

    Sounds just exactly like right wing nut job fauxknee kristians except wingnuts take it further. What’s yer point?

  18. JonD 2017-02-16 08:57

    Jenny, I agree wholeheartedly with your comparison of Islam and Catholicism but just because it’s early and I have an hour before I need to be about my daily routine, I would like to offer my own picture of that dysfunctional family tree. I’d say that all of the Abrahamic religions would be not cousins but in fact a single individual with severe multiple personality disorder, various ones being capable of horrific actions for which the others claim complete innocence. There are a few nervous step-siblings such as Mormanism, the Amish and Baha’i. Then come the dozens of polytheistic cousins and so on up to Scientology, who would be the weird aunt that wears gypsy attire and gives everyone crystals at family reunions.

  19. happy camper 2017-02-16 09:23

    Oh lord I need Jesus about now. I should have known nothing would break through the veneer, even Cory’s own words! Outside of an actual uptick in violence against Muslims which is wrong, people are not being attacked physically by criticizing Islam, even if what they say is inaccurate. Calling for violence crosses the line.

    It’s true a lot of people don’t understand Islam, so they make Jenny’s PC comparison by finding other extreme elements of other religions to say, well they’re really all the same which sure sounds nice, rather than actually spending some time to learn about it. That’s ignorance for which there is no excuse, especially if you’re writing a blog with strong opinions on it.

    Wanting to shut down what people say is a huge mistake as Flemming Rose explains. Denmark allows Communists, Nazis, Muslim extremists, and other “hate groups” to spew their words rather than push it underground. Besides being the legal thing, they’ve found the light of day is the best disinfectant.

    The sad thing is, some of you are turning into Leftist Facsists. At best you’ll nod to free speech while shaming people to keep quiet cause you’re so absolutely sure of your beliefs, or worse as Jerry and another commenter did on the post about Milo Yiannopoulos actually encourage violence while Cory says nothing. You’re hypocrites!

    If you know you’re lacking in your knowledge of Islam, then listen to someone credible like Bill Warner. Or is it more fun to stay ignorant so you can be a part of the South Dakota New Fascists with Cory as the leader. I’m waiting for you to issue arm bands.

  20. mike from iowa 2017-02-16 09:31

    It’s true a lot of people don’t understand Islam,

    And you do because……you’re Allah’s gift to us infidels?
    I doubt jeebus could help. Maybe an intervention might be in order.

  21. Porter Lansing 2017-02-16 09:39

    Bill Warner is a notorious Islamophobe hate monger lying about Islam.
    ~ Some arrogant people will never admit that the Koran is the Word of Allah. Out of hatred to Islam they deliberately take the verses out of their context and arrive at blasphemous conclusions just to prove that the Koran is false.
    *HappyCamper uses the term “politically correct” attempting poorly to shield himself from valid criticism. Correct is correct, no matter what qualifiers prefaces it.

  22. Porter Lansing 2017-02-16 11:18

    The Camper is using a common diversionary tactic to spread his/her hate speech. i.e. Conflating fundamentalist Islamists (less than 1/10 of one percent of Muslims) with mainstream Islamists.
    Whether it’s a fundamentalist court, a fundamentalist school, a fundamentalist militia or a fundamentalist religion, the mindset is similar. Fundamentalism is a psychological “safe zone” for people who believe they don’t work well in modern society. Clinging to the old ways is a lazy way to refuse to change. Happy Camper … I’ll say with conviction that you don’t know even one Muslim as an acquaintance. There’re no fundamentalist Muslims that post on Free Press but there’re several fundamentalist Christians here who support my assertion of social incompatibility and refusal to change with the times.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-16 11:18

    I lead no fascists. I want to impose my religious views on no one through force of law. I oppose anyone else’s effort to impose religious views through force of law.

    But Aberdeen’s hate group is motivated by no such general Constitutional principle. They are not offering a calm and reasoned theological critique of Islam. They are motivated by fear and rage. They are spreading outrageous and racist lies, like that Muslim kids will infect our children with parasites, that Barack Obama is a Muslim, and that there is a global conspiracy involving Lutheran Social Services, Hillary Clinton, and the United Nations to impose Sharia Law.

    As Porter suggests, rebutting that group’s lies isn’t about being “politically correct”. It’s about being factually correct. I’m not defending Islam; I’m defending simple truth and democratic pluralism.

  24. bearcreekbat 2017-02-16 12:13

    JonD’s observation seems both profound and accurate –

    all of the Abrahamic religions would be not cousins but in fact a single individual with severe multiple personality disorder, various ones being capable of horrific actions for which the others claim complete innocence.

    Plus I heard there is a loophole for Nuns who decide they want to get pregnant. All they have to do is pose as alter boys.

  25. mike from iowa 2017-02-16 12:18

    Plus I heard there is a loophole for Nuns who decide they want to get pregnant. All they have to do is pose as alter boys

    Best funny I have heard in a few days, BCB. :)

  26. dicta 2017-02-16 13:49

    I thought the American Clarion guy was just a loon. Why does he deserve a hate group label?

  27. Porter Lansing 2017-02-16 14:37

    Happy Camper is getting his/her own hate group label. Why not every “Kooky Christer” in the state?
    Might become a hate group tourist destination.

  28. happy camper 2017-02-16 20:29

    But Cory you’re not accepting facts. Bill Warner is an intellectual, like Sam Harris or Christopher Hitchens. We will fight ignorance to our last dying day. Most of religion is ignorance, and most of science was blasphemy and only came to be accepted as factual by trial and error, but also through free speech. We must have the willingness to talk about things we don’t understand or we would still think the world is flat, or demons possess our bodies, or any such nonsense. It’s true that American Christians are fearful of religious differences, but we can’t take their rights to express themselves or we would be taking away our own rights away, it’s only through free expression we learn.

  29. Spike 2017-02-16 22:56

    Grandma taught me bad people are bad people.

    I like my ‘religion’… that we come from the earth, are made up of the elements of the universe and life is a miracle. Hence the trees , our food, the animals, the rocks, the water, the stars.. Are our relatives.

    Even tho those dang mosquitoes can be pesky relatives. N sometimes my brother in laws too…

    Some people believe that European religions may have murdered more Americans than any other religion. Oh sorry that would be the decimation of the first americans by christianity in the name of god and the doctrines of discovery and the Papal bull. ( but I also categorize gold as a murderous religon in that decimation too) But that doesn’t count these days cause its in the past. Now we must keep out those evil brown people. Especially in Aberdeen.

  30. Porter Lansing 2017-02-17 01:40

    Spike … I love you, man. You bring the truth.

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-17 05:40

    Hap, I deny no facts. Telling the truth is the only currency I have. The Ron Branstner fans in Aberdeen not only ignore many facts but shout down and physically threaten folks who bring them uncomfortable facts. If you’re trying to accuse me of not fully respecting the First Amendment, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Dicta, I’m not sure what specific actions may have earned American Clarion a spot on the SPLC list. He’s mostly a mouthpiece for Breitbartian national propaganda (to the extent that I’ve wondered if he’s not part of some larger, well-financed culture-war organization).

  32. mike from iowa 2017-02-17 07:21

    Happy C is an intellectual?

    Spike-you done good, Brother.

    American Clarion mouthpieces are right fond of both of them there Corinthians. They are America first, last and only and I assume white America first, last and only.

  33. happy camper 2017-02-17 21:55

    But I don’t think I’m barking up the wrong tree Cory. Your post from two years ago correctly pointed out it is ok to criticize and ridicule: “If you speak, if you question, if you criticize, if you ridicule, you are Charlie Hebdo.” The Danish cartoons showed Mohammed with a bomb wrapped in his turban. Muslims rioted, they killed people over his depiction, but now you don’t want Ron Branster to criticize Islam. He has the right to speak his mind to whoever wants to listen even if he has his facts wrong. It is their right to gather and exchange ideas however much you disagree. In a free society we have to trust individuals will make the right decisions or by trying to stop Milo, or Branster, or someone who offends you, you become the Fascist.

    These Muslim radicals have successfully suppressed free speech. Very few papers would publish the cartoons. We can ask ourselves, even if we are staunch believers in free speech, if we ran a blog or a small newspaper, would we publish the cartoons? Would it be worth the risk, when you have a family, a dependent child. The answer is probably no, so they won.

  34. happy camper 2017-02-19 17:33

    “Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.” A good quote from Peter Ustinov.

    My only beef with Spike’s comment is Native Americans were killing each other, robbing territory, and a Native friend told me enslaving each other long before colonization. He also said they would kill the men, take the women, so it’s not fair to characterize everything as rosy before the white men got here. Didn’t the Sioux war with and push out the Arikara from South Dakota and other Sioux territory? So how many First Americans were killed by other First Americans?

    But back to that quote, maybe that’s what is so bad about any strong ideology, it removes doubt. Islam is especially that way, it is a doctrine for covering all parts of life. No skepticism allowed, kind of like the PC talk we are all the same and attempts to shut down free speech.

    Hitchens explains Islam:;_ylt=A0LEVy8QhqhYCpIA759XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=christopher+hitchens+islam&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t#action=view&id=58&vid=f38d5c5caf3aa95f631c0fd538890846

  35. jerry 2017-02-19 17:43

    Hitchens supported the Iraq war, so his explaining anything is suspect. Might as well be quoting from Dick Cheney.

  36. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-19 20:13

    Dang. Remind me what we’re arguing about, Hap. I say Ron Branstner is full of lies and whips up false fears amongst a bunch of people who really do have the SPLC Hate Map designation coming. What did I get wrong there? How does my own distaste for religious oppression or the intrusion of anyone else’s religion into my daily life negate anything else I’ve said about the fear- and hate-mongers among us Aberdonians?

  37. Spike 2017-02-20 12:36

    Hap. I didn’t paint anything about rosy…that’s your imagination. It’s actually that ability to war out here on the prairie that kept a few of my ancestors alive and not exterminated by colonialism. And not relocated to Oklahoma or Florida on forced death marches. I stated European religion(christianity) killed more Americans that any other religions. Don’t kid yourself that isn’t true.

    I’m with Cory, those racists in Aberdeen are ridiculous.

  38. happy camper 2017-02-20 17:29

    Ok then Heidelberger, we’re arguing about free speech and being honest. You told the Angostics to get off the fence, quit trying to have it safe and easy and stand for something. You go to an Atheist Convention, come back and say its all about being rational, only believing in reality, what can be proven, that faith is not part of the deal.

    Then we have the cartoons, oh holy cow, Charlie Hebdo drew prophet Mohammed. Craziness ensues. Many places around the globe are thrown to chaos over a bit of scribbling. You write beautiful words: If you speak, if you question, if you criticize, if you ridicule, you are Charlie Hebdo, with much support from commenters on this blog by the way. Belief in free speech seems well understood and appreciated.

    But moving forward people turn on Charlie Hebdo. They shouldn’t have done that, almost no one in the press will print the cartoons other than the Danish paper whose publisher will now need security for the rest of his life, so the world becomes accommodating. We’ve got to be respectful they say. Multiculturalism wins.

    So how is this working out? Most of Europe has hate speech laws, so they have to keep quiet. But in our country the “Fog of Fascism” as described by Alan Dershowitz has
    spread. Now anyone who says anything against Islam is called an Islamophobe. Cause even if we don’t believe in their mumbo jumbo, we must show respect for it? But what about that earlier stuff???

    Fast forward some more. Now Cory says: We are all the same! Yeah right. People who believe in rationality are just like those who believe in the tenants of Islam? Ok, so maybe Cory just means that rhetorically, but he goes to a Branstner event disrupting their right to free speech. But really, based on Cory’s stated beliefs why isn’t he and others (including commenters here) eager to open up Islam for question, criticism, and ridicule? Unexplainable, but not doing so holds back people trapped by these fundamentalists.

    So why is free speech important anyway? Some of you want to shut it down in the name of tolerance. Well, one person’s expression of liberty is another person’s hate speech. The southerners tried to stop Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement with hate speech laws. Good thing the Supreme Court said no. It’s also the reason we can’t stand for this We Are All The Same PC malarkey.

  39. Porter Lansing 2017-02-20 18:21

    CampRat … You wear that PC badge like a white hood. We all know what you mean, Paco. If you want to use the “N” word or you want to pull over every car with a Hispanic in it or you want to stop gay people from getting married or you want to stop multi-racial couples from adopting you know deep down it’s wrong. But, you’ve got this bigot gene deep in your brain that tells you,” It’s ok. It’s for the better good of all white people.” So you go ahead and use the “N” word and you take human rights from anyone who’s not white and how do you justify it? You invent a term, “POLITICALLY CORRECT” to describe we tolerant, compassionate people and say we’re the bigots and racists and we’re infringing on your right to be a horse’s ass to strangers. We’re on to you, fool. You can use any words you want but you can’t run from our criticism. You are what you know you are. INCORRECT

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-20 18:27


    (1) I have not turned on Charlie Hebdo. Je suis toujours Charlie.

    (2) There is a vast moral difference between the satire of Charlie Hebdo and the fearmongering deliberate disregard for fact of Ron Branstner. Beware the false equivalency.

    (3) “We are all the same.” Remind me where I said that, either as direct quote or in spirit.

    (4) I disrupted no one’s right to free speech: I asked for the floor, was granted it by the host, and then was shouted down before I could complete my relatively brief correction of incorrect statements made by Branstner.

    (5) As I have said before, I welcome any honest critique of any oppressive religion. But Branstner’s medicine-show warnings that brown kids will give your kids parasites and LSS is conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood are not rational theological discourse. They are the real malarkey at the center of this discussion, malarkey used to excuse the hate SPLC rightfully pins on its map.

  41. happy camper 2017-02-21 08:16

    Turncoats. PC Fascists ain’t no Charlie.

    Oink Oink Piggy Piggies.

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