Some Aberdeen bigots feel the need to keep screaming about Sharia Law, even though taking the First Amendment as seriously as they take the Second Amendment guarantees that theocracy of any flavor will never take root in the United States of America.
There’s no changing some old, hardened hearts, but the Brown County Progressives for Change and Activate South Dakota will hold a protest against this anti-Muslim fear-mongering on Tuesday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m. on the Northern State University campus green, outside the Krikac Auditorium, where scared old white people will gather to hear a repeat of out-of-state speaker Aynaz Anni Cyrus’s rabble-rousing and unverifiable tale of Sharia Law in Iran.
BCPC and ASD offer this explanation of why they are rallying on the Northern campus Tuesday:
Brown County Progressives for Change and Activate South Dakota are unifying to protest against Americans First Task Force, a local anti-Muslim group, promotion of speaker Aynaz Anni Cyrus.
Aynaz Anni Cyrus is an Iranian-American human rights activist that does speaking engagements about her oppression under Sharia law while she was living in the Islamic Republic of Iran. While examples of human rights violations are real and occur in Iran, it does not reflect the true peaceful nature of the religion.
“Aynaz experience as a child bride and treatment under authoritarian Islamic State rule are touching, but the notion that this is an accurate reflection of the religion are absurd.” Says Josh Halsey (Chair of BCPC) “ We are not protesting her experiences rather the message of hate and intolerance of a peaceful religion.”
“If we truly want a functioning democracy that includes rich and diverse ideas, we need to stop spreading the message of hate.” Says Justin Roemmick (District 3 House Candidate) “The Americans First Task Force does a great deal to divide our community and makes our new Americans feel unwelcome. They operate in similar fashion as the Ku Klux Klan and that is unacceptable in our community and it will not be tolerated.”
While there is no proof that it is in fact the AFTF that invited Aynaz Cyrus to speak, they have been promoting it on their Facebook page. We would like to counter by inviting the community to a peaceful protest to rally against hate and intolerance September 18th at 6:30 PM located on the campus greens. Aynaz Cyrus will be speaking at the Krikac Auditorium located on the campus of Northern State University.
Brown County Progressives for Change and Activate South Dakota are both non-partisan groups of people who want to see progressive ideology spread throughout South Dakota. They are active in countering policy and events that negatively impact the community such as family separation and Islamophobia [BCPC and ASD, press release, 2018.09.13].
Northern State University says the Cyrus event is “sponsored by a private citizen and is not a campus-sponsored event.” However, that private citizen spent big money (my ad sheet says $1,551, plus $230 for color) on a half-page color ad in my Sunday paper that prominently features the NSU logo, which I’m pretty sure no one gets to use without permission from NSU’s marketing department.
Many good Aberdonians recognize that the continued economic growth and prosperity of Aberdeen, South Dakota, and the United States depend on hope, truth, and welcoming rather than fear, lies, and bigotry. Alas, those good Aberdonians don’t have the same money to throw at demonstrations of their patriotism that some frightened retirees and malcontents do to try erecting bulwarks around their hateful and failing worldviews.
But let the angry cranks have their “fun”—though really, how much “fun” can they be having spending their twilight years in manufactured fear and bitter selfishness? They are crying for an all-white, all-Christian America that exists only in their angry and limited imaginations. The good folks on the campus green are simply reminding us all of what America really stands for: the ability to grow and prosper in change, to invite people of all faiths and all nations to join us and make America even greater.