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Letter: CAIR’s press release gave inaccurate information

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This is a letter in response to the June 23 Pioneer story regarding presentations about Islam at the Bagley High School. I attended each night with a desire for knowledge. I can tell you firsthand what actually occurred at Sunday night’s event.

The Pioneer referred to a press release from CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, which was a perfect example of trying to make Christians look like the bad guys.

We were not an angry mob, but we were somewhat perturbed when a woman dressed in traditional Muslim attire walked in carrying a large sign and made her way slowly to the stage and would not listen to requests to take her protest back outside, or at least put the sign down and take a seat to listen to the presentation.

Mr. Dakdok asked if someone in the crowd would call 911 so the police could have her removed. One elderly gentleman did approach to ask her to leave or sit down, which she finally did. In no way was her safety ever in question. If some fellow protesters actually called the police for “protection,” that would be nothing but an excuse to put out an inflammatory press release the next day.

Mr. Dakdok opened it up for questions at the end, and right away three Muslim people headed for the microphone, including the woman mentioned, plus one fellow who had just arrived and had not even heard the presentation. The exchange was for the most part very civil, voices did rise in intensity a few times, but at no time was there any danger of physical harm. I was personally up by the stage when the police officer said “time to go” which was needed because the discussions were getting nowhere.

For CAIR to mention the “can I borrow your gun” line is again a blatant attempt at stirring up waters. Yes, it was a stupid thing to say, but it was a local person who knew the officer making an attempt at bad humor … and precious few even heard it. CAIR is certainly trying hard to make others look bad and themselves look innocent.

Regarding Mr. Dakdok, I came away believing he clearly does not hate Muslims. He is from Egypt and a Christian. His desire is for people to know the truth based on history and Islamic text.

Phil Ehlke

Bemidji

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