Republican State Senator Neal Tapio of Watertown expressed concern today about the inclusion of a Muslim prayer portion in an interfaith prayer and reflection ceremony slated for Wednesday at the state capitol in Pierre. Amid growing outcry and calls of protest from a number of South Dakota Christian leaders and organizations over the planned Muslim invocation, Tapio says he plans to use the event as a backdrop for a ‘reality check’ regarding the present state of the Islamic faith and the true nature of the war on Islamic terror and the wave of jihad attacks plaguing both the United States and Western Europe. Tapio says allowing Muslim prayer in the capitol sends the wrong message and is an insult to South Dakota military veterans of the War on Terror.
“Counting those killed on September 11th, 2001, more than 10,000 Americans have died and more than one million American soldiers have been wounded in the War on Terror,” Tapio said.
“While cultural messages of inclusiveness are important, I think it’s far more important that we respect the sacrifice and tremendous grief of South Dakota’s military families and those who have suffered so deeply in this ongoing war against Islamic terror, both at home and abroad.” Tapio said. “I plan on using this moment to talk realistically about the complex issues still facing our nation in dealing with Islamic terrorism and the dangers presented by the most intolerant religious ideology in existence,” Tapio said
“Islamic attacks on American soil and the massive increase in Islamic terror attacks in Western Europe are key evidence of what’s truly at stake in dealing with large, mobile populations of practicing Muslims that are being relocated to peaceful western nations,” Tapio said. “Political correctness and careful talking points by career politicians are not going to solve these problems,” Tapio said.
The issue of Islamic terror and immigration policy has been at the center of the race for Congress in South Dakota, with GOP candidate and Secretary of State Shantel Krebs appearing publicly with Kansas Secretary of State, Chris Kobach at an event in December. As an advisor to President Donald Trump, Kobach is widely recognized as a leading critic of Obama era immigration and resettlement rules allowing free passage and mandatory placement of more than 100,000 Middle Eastern and Muslim refugees on American soil. Prior to the Kobach-Krebs event, State Senator Neal Tapio challenged Krebs to openly endorse Trump immigration policy rather than simply draping herself in a photo opportunity with a Trump advisor for political effect and media attention. Tapio says Krebs failed the test badly, resulting in a visibly awkward media moment between Kobach and a candidate clearly unwilling to talking openly about Islamic terror.
“I think it became very obvious to South Dakota voters that while Shantel Krebs understands the political value of appearing strong on Islamic terror and immigration policy, she lacks the moral courage and topical fluency to deal with those issues at a deep policy level with any substance or authority,” Tapio said.
“Candidates understand that mouthing the Trump message on certain issues is politically valuable in this Congressional race, but frankly, it’s insulting to the people of South Dakota and to intelligence in general to have such grave issues of national security turned into a dog and phony show to score political points.” Tapio said.