Klan-lite rallies featuring non-Muslims explaining the evils of Islam draw a couple hundred fearful South Dakotans needing their prejudices affirmed. Pastors in Rapid City recruit a Muslim neighbor to discuss his faith and answer questions, and they get a couple dozen to come listen:
With the forum overseen by Trinity Episcopal Church Rev. Portia Corbin and First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) Rev. Carl Kline and attended by about two dozen members of the public, Fathi Halaweish, a representative from the Brookings Islamic Center and a 20-year chemistry and biochemistry instructor at South Dakota State University who originates from Egypt, led a 75-minute discussion about his faith and sought to dispel negative perceptions surrounding it.
…Kline also maintained that Christian-majority societies could seek better understanding with the Islamic faith by extending invitations to Muslims within their communities and allow them to share their experiences and beliefs.
“As it is, we kind of inform ourselves through the media. A lot of that is sensationalized and focuses on the negative,” Kline said [Dan Crisler, “Religion of Islam Discussed During Interfaith Dialogues,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2017.05.08].
Crisler does not report the attendance at this peaceable, informative interfaith dialogue of any public officials like Marty Jackley or Shantel Krebs. Pastor Portia, Pastor Carl, keep trying!