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Guest Column: SDV4P Fact-Checks Tapio-Backed Anti-Islam Speaker

I’m happy to yield the floor to my friends at South Dakota Voices for Peace to handle fact-checking the out-of-state anti-Islam speaker coming back to Aberdeen tomorrow (and making extra stops to bother folks in Rapid City and Watertown, apparently with failed U.S. House candidate Neal Tapio’s help) to further stir the local bigots:

Once again, South Dakota allies of ACT! for America, the largest anti-Muslim, anti- refugee and anti-immigrant grassroots organization in the United States, with an active chapter in Rapid City, are working together to tour Aynaz Anni Cyrus through rural parts of South Dakota.  Hosted by Sen. Neal Tapio (R-Watertown), she is scheduled to attend Midwest Bible Camp, Main Hall (Watertown) Monday Sept 17, Northern State University (Aberdeen), Sept 18, and Landmark Community Church (Rapid City), Sept 20.  Cyrus is a “former Muslim” and is listed as an Islamophobic provocateur for the blatantly bigoted message she spreads by drawing in crowds to hear her compelling childhood story of being sold as a child bride.

See:  South Dakota’s Family Heritage Alliance reveals disturbing track record of spreading anti-Muslim hate

Some of Cyrus’ defamatory and inflammatory statements documented on YouTube, include titles like “To Be Raped Under Islam” and “The Solution to Stop Islam” which state:

  • “I can promise you Islam cannot coexist with anything else, especially our Constitution…therefore they need to convert everyone or kill everyone or the nonbeliever for their goal to be achieved. So they are coming into our country to invade our country like they Europe right now. It’s basically an invasion…. These people are Muslim.”
  • “Rape is part of Islam.”
  • “When there is a mosque built in any area . . .it’s a sign of conquest… and represents 1,200 areas lost to Sharia.”
  • “Islam is definitely at war against humanity.”
  • “The reason for the existence of a woman in Islam is that she’s the seducer.”

In April 2018, Lori Miller, SDVFP board member, attended the Cyrus event and reported, “An audience member asked what the “halal” symbol on the yogurt she purchased at Costco meant. Cyrus responded, it means that 5% of the proceeds are going towards supporting a mosque and terrorism groups. Cyrus told the audience member she should find a new favorite yogurt.”

This is inflammatory, fear mongering and false. “Halal” in the culinary context means that there is no pork gelatin in the yogurts and both Jews practicing kosher and Muslims who eat halal can consume that product.  Dannon and Chiobani are some of these brands and do not donate proceeds to fund terrorism.

“If true, Cyrus’ story is compelling but also opportunistic. The industry that fuels the flame of instilling fear of Muslims, immigrants and refugees is a $57 Million dollar industry and she reaps the benefits of this. She says she is a human rights activist, but as we are witnessing thousands of domestic violence victims present themselves at the US border seeking asylum, Cyrus has said nothing to protect these survivors.  Attorney Jeff Sessions has announced the basic end for domestic violence survivors’ opportunity to apply for asylum, Cyrus has said nothing against this policy, yet she benefited from being able to seek asylum herself! And child brides are a rampant issue in the United States, with over 207,468 such marriages from 2010-2015. The majority of child brides are girls and from conservative Christian communities. Does she advocate for child brides in the US or blame Christianity for child rape in these marriages like she blames an entire religion for what she endured? Of course not. That is what makes her talks hateful and not really about human rights,“ emphasized executive director Taneeza Islam.

South Dakota Voices for Peace has reached out to the Muslim community in Aberdeen and Northern State University where the Tuesday, September 18, event will take place to ask that they assure the Muslim students, faculty, and staff on campus that bullying and threatening activities have no place on their campus.

“As Americans we hold dear the tenet of the First Amendment and free speech on public campuses, however protected hate speech has severe negative impact on the targeted population of this event and we, allies and people of conscience must assure our targeted communities are protected from harm,” emphasized Islam.

Exercising their First Amendment rights, Brown County Progressives for Change are organizing a peaceful protest outside the event on Northern State University’s Campus on Tuesday, September 18, at 6:30PM. Details can be found on their Facebook page.

If anyone is directly and negatively impacted by these events we encourage them to report issues to South Dakota Voices for Peace

South Dakota Voices for Peace’s mission is to empower South Dakotans with accurate information to fight Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry in order to nurture informed, inclusive, and civically engaged communities[South Dakota Voices for Peace, press release, 2018.09.17].


  1. Jenny 2018-09-17

    As a recovering Catholic, I could probably go around the country and embellish the facts and proclaim that Catholicism is total evil. All the child rapes, the confessional closet is really a rape closet, pedophilia priests are lurking everywhere (watch out). Oh, and did I mention how the Catholics hate women, they treat them as second class by denying them to ever become Priests. Catholicism wants to overtake the world and the Vatican is a secret society where only males are allowed for orgies.

  2. Jenny 2018-09-17

    Altar boy rape is part of Catholicism!

  3. Donald Pay 2018-09-17

    In the 1990s there was a concerted effort over several years in the South Dakota Legislature to update and strengthen domestic violence statutes. This effort was supported by female legislators in both Democratic and Republican caucuses, and had the support of Governor Mickelson. No one expected these efforts to draw opposition, but they did. I never saw one Muslim person testifying against these laws. None actually came forward to support child rape or lessen the proposed increase in penalties for child or spouse abuse. But the lobbyists for several conservative Christian organizations did. They were united in their efforts to prevent tougher domestic violence laws. Their testimony indicated a concern with the state interfering in what they called “family life” as dictated by the Bible. Specifically, they placed greater priority of the father being able to control his family, and discipline his children. They said strict discipline, including, apparently, extreme beating creating blunt force trauma, was a part of their religious teaching and therefore should not be questioned by the state. They didn’t go so far as to say a wanton woman should be stoned to death, but they certainly didn’t mind her getting a good beating by her father or other male authority figure.

    Have today’s Christian conservatives gone soft, or is it just hateful prejudice they are swallowing down and spewing out to drive voter turnout? Supporting the anti-Christ in The White House must be a bit of a stretch for most good Christian folks. Thus the Russian-influenced effort to have these outreach hate events to gin up a scary reason to vote against people’s self interest and for the Ruskies effort to divide and conquer. Shame on those who participate in this evil.

  4. Donald Pay 2018-09-17

    One other thing. These “Christian” conservative groups in the 1990s argued, and I mean argued forcefully at the Legislature, that a husband could never rape his wife. Somewhere in the Bible they got the idea that a wife had to just lie back and enjoy at any time and place the husband felt the urge. Thus, they opposed, I mean actively lobbied, to drop “wife” from the rape statutes. They didn’t win in their effort to impose Christian “Sharia” law.

  5. o 2018-09-17

    Well I suppose it is time to chum the waters so that the base is good and riled up by election time.

  6. mike from iowa 2018-09-17

    Who knew yogurt was bad for you? But the Girl Scouts support Planned Parenthood.

    Even if Kavanaugh raped that girl 35 years ago it is our duty to see if he is a good person now, and he is. Kristian Sharia Law wingnut style.

  7. OldSarg 2018-09-17

    Jenny, Catholics are the largest religion in South Dakota. By attacking them you are chasing away even more votes. This is hurt Sutton’s 30% deficit even more.

  8. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    Os … You just made that up, you knob head. Do the research and try again.

  9. Debbo 2018-09-17

    Those anti-Muslim haters lie for $. No better than Pootie’s Puppet and the Pootiepublicans. They’re all traitors, if not constitutionally, certainly morally.

  10. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    Since the deceptive deceiver Os won’t admit he tells lies at will, the truth is that Catholics are the third biggest religion in SD. I recommend reading the blog post from “On The Other Hand” featured in the right side column of this page. It’s a Kevin Woster interview with the candidates for AG (Seiler and Rowndzberg, as well as Jackley) and their positions on demanding that the Catholic Church come clean with the hidden Priest abuse cases the church has been keeping under the rug for decades.

  11. grudgenutz 2018-09-18

    While I think Jenny is attempting to be satirical, her posts read like literality to me.

  12. mike from iowa 2018-09-18

    Is This known as Tapioca-ca?

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-18

    1. Jenny doesn’t work for Sutton.
    2. Catholics are not the largest religion in South Dakota. Christianity is the largest religion. Catholics may be the largest denomination, but they are outnumbered 2:1 by Protestants (or at least were in the 2001 survey I link here, and I will speculate that Protestant denominations have grown more than Catholic denominations in the last two decades).
    3. Sutton’s standing in any poll says nothing about the effective fact-checking that SDV4P offers above. Cyrus and her Tapiocan sponsors are BS artists.

  14. Jason 2018-09-18


    The SD4P did not prove any of the below assertions false.

    Rape is part of Islam.”

    “When there is a mosque built in any area . . .it’s a sign of conquest… and represents 1,200 areas lost to Sharia.”

    “Islam is definitely at war against humanity.”

    “The reason for the existence of a woman in Islam is that she’s the seducer.”

    What fact checking are you talking about?

  15. mike from iowa 2018-09-18

    by Huda
    Updated April 28, 2018

    Rape is completely forbidden in Islamic law and is a crime punishable by death.

    In Islam, capital punishment is reserved for the most extreme crimes: those that harm individual victims or destabilize society. Rape falls into both categories. Islam takes very seriously the honor and protection of women, and the Quran repeatedly reminds men to treat women with kindness and fairness.

    Some people confuse Islamic law by equating rape with sex outside of marriage, which is instead adultery or fornication. However, throughout Islamic history, some scholars have classified rape as a form of terrorism or a crime of violence (hiraba). Specific examples from Islamic history can shed light on how early Muslims handled this crime and its punishment

  16. Debbo 2018-09-18

    Mike, anti-Islam zealots have a playbook that quotes certain parts of the Koran. Then they swear it’s exactly what Muslims do today.

    Of course the very same tactics are used by anti-Christian people, mostly relying on the bible’s Old Testament. They tell Muslims a basic part of modern Christianity is to kill all nonbelievers, plus their spouses, children, livestock, pets, and destroy their structures and fields. Christians must stone nonbelievers and adulterers. Christians do keep slaves and may castrate their slaves at will.

    As you and I and anyone else can see, if they are willing too, it’s just a propaganda game, meaning nothing. The Muslim haters play this propaganda game just as well as their opponents. It would be childish and silly, except for the life changing, or even life losing, consequences.

    Those who play it on any side, often for $ and/or attention, are cruel people.

  17. Porter Lansing 2018-09-18

    Excellent, Debbo and Mike. Why do some people need fundamentalist religion to tell them what to do? (ISIS, fundamentalist, born-again Christians, anti-Muslim Buddhists, Hasidic Jews) What are they lacking? Maybe they aren’t lacking anything. Maybe by adopting religious fundamentalism it gives them an excuse for oppressing those they don’t agree with and claiming God’s approval? That would just really be just cowardice manifested, huh?
    ~ Jason thinks he’s better than Muslims and that gives him God’s approval to hate them. He thinks his sexual preclusion makes him a target when it’s really his “better than thou” mindset that makes him despicable to Islamists … and most of us, also.

  18. Porter Lansing 2018-09-18

    Actually Cory, Catholics are a sect of Christianity. The religious sect breakdown for South Dakota is 26% Mainstream Protestants – 23% Born Again Evangelical Protestants – 21% Catholic – LDS 1% – other Christian and non-Christian faiths are the remainder.

  19. Dicta 2018-09-18

    Jason is asking people to prove negatives now. Sweet. Seems totally logical.

  20. Dicta 2018-09-18

    Prove to me there isn’t a Megazord ala the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that is undetectable by human senses and modern technology walking around South Dakota right now. Do it. This is how we debate now.

  21. mike from iowa 2018-09-18

    Jason’s schtick is even more tiresome than Drumpf’s. Drumpf 2020? More like 20 to life.

  22. Dicta 2018-09-18

    I am Russell’s Teapot
    Short and Stout
    Something something something
    Quit with the unfalsifiable claims

  23. Porter Lansing 2018-09-18

    That’s how you prove a point on Newswire, MRCTV and Newsbusters aka Jason’s library.

  24. Porter Lansing 2018-09-19

    Powerline and John Hinderaker are an invalid source.

  25. Jason 2018-09-20

    Now Porter is attacking the credibility of Jodi K Milbum M.D.

    Do you have a problem with female doctors Porter?

    Seems sexist to me.

    It appears you are defending an alleged woman beater.


  26. Porter Lansing 2018-09-20

    I know you are. What am I?

  27. jerry 2018-09-30

    Our military is one thing that is being missed in all of this hate fest. The military needs more trained doc’s from the Arabic countries and African ones as well. Why do republicans hate our military?

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Stricter Trump administration immigration policies have stymied Pentagon plans to restart a program that allowed thousands of people with critical medical or Asian and African language skills to join the military and become American citizens, according to several U.S. officials.

    The decade-old program has been on hold since 2016 amid concerns that immigrant recruits were not being screened well enough, and security threats were slipping through the system. Defense officials shored up the vetting process, and planned to relaunch the program earlier this month.”

    The problems with all of this is that trump’s republicans are so erratic they rescind the documents necessary for these patriots to become American citizens. Shameful and dangerous to our soldiers on the ground in our 900 bases around the world.

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