South Dakota Congressional Candidate and Watertown State Senator, Neal Tapio this week introduced a concurrent resolution formally acknowledging the full implementation of Islamic Law, known as Sharia Law, as the root cause of the global war on terrorism and challenging South Dakota businesses, organizations and political leaders to support the resolution in a show of unified support of America’s military personnel.
After an orchestrated effort to limit discussion Tuesday on the Senate floor, lawmakers voted to reject the resolution by a vote of 19-16. Tapio says the vote and the events that framed it illustrate both the broken nature of a legislative process fixated on avoiding tough issues, and the way process and procedure are used to provide cover for the lack of courage and leadership in facing truth about a difficult topic.
“I offered this very simple resolution on behalf of the American patriots, soldiers and their families after countless hours in personal conversation with legislators who claim to understand the threat of Islamic terrorism, but who either think it is not their responsibility to confront this issue, or are afraid to talk about this issue in public,” Tapio said.
“It is important for the people who care about the costs of the endless war on terror, and its affect on our loved ones and our communities, to understand the dysfunctional nature of the process in Pierre, and also to highlight the lack of courage of those charged with protecting the good people of South Dakota,” Tapio said.
“The war on terror is real. Last year, legislators were afraid to say they support ‘President Trump in his effort to keep America safe from radical Islamic terrorism.’ Legislators, along with lobbyists for Sanford and Avera hospitals, and the leadership of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and Lutheran Social Services, pushed hard to remove the term “Islamic” out of the resolution.” Tapio said.
“The question is why would these organizations be afraid to address this issue head on and call it by its name, in light of the overwhelming evidence that we see every night on the nightly news. What alternate reality are they living in?”
“If we can’t acknowledge the root cause of the war on terror, and understand those people we are fighting subscribe to a hateful and deadly ideology of the full implementation of Islam Law, then we will fail to recognize those Islamic terrorist organizations intend to infiltrate the entire world with their hateful and deadly ideology.”
“I’m disappointed and saddened to see an utter lack of recognition or resolve on the part of some of South Dakota’s Republican elected leadership,” Tapio said.
The resolution which identified Islamic laws of apostasy and the belief in capital punishment for anyone who leaves the Islamic faith as the driving doctrine behind the violent Jihadist tendencies in both Europe and North America also made a formal request that businesses, organizations and political leaders in South Dakota stand up and be counted as supporters of that message in order to facilitate a renewed dialogue. Tapio says seeing even narrow defeat of his resolution sends a troubling signal about the moral resolve of leadership to show even a basic understanding of an existential threat.
“I tried to work within this system, now it’s time to go around the system,” Tapio said. “We simply don’t have the luxury to play nice and do and say the comfortable things during these extraordinary times.”
“We can either fight to win a petty popularity contest within the GOP establishment and the lobbyists who control them in Pierre, or we can continue to fight everyday on tough issues for the people of South Dakota,” Tapio said.
“I simply choose not to be distracted by the dog and phony show of the political circus when there are real threats and challenges to be faced.”