Within the last four years, up to 50 Somali men from Minnesota attempted to join ISIS, the most violent terrorist organization this world has ever seen.

Did you know those Somali men weren’t refugees? They were the children of refugees. (There goes the theory that we understand how to properly vet refugees.)

In addition to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, there are at least 19 other fundamental Islamic terrorist organizations around the world actively involved in the war on terror. They go by names of Al Queda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, just to name a few. They all believe in the full implementation of Islamic law.

Fourteen Islamic countries that have fully implemented Islamic Law will kill you for leaving Islam. According to my analysis of Pew Research data, between 200 million and 350 million people who consider themselves Muslim believe you should be killed for leaving Islam. 

This death cult is not compatible with freedom and liberty protected by our First Amendment of our Constitution. If you don’t have the freedom to leave a religion, there can be no freedom of religion.

It is our duty to keep this hateful ideology and these deadly people, as President Trump says, “the hell out of our country.”

We must have a very honest dialogue, as a nation, about the global war of terror carried out by Islamic fundamentalists who believe in the full implementation of Islamic law. Our armed forces and intelligence agencies are fighting or monitoring Islamic fundamentalists, or Islamic terrorists, in every nation of the world, and every state in our nation, costing our country over $6.5 trillion and affecting the lives of millions of service members and their families since September 11, 2001. To deny that terror has something to do with Islam is ignorant and dangerous.

Why am I concerned about this issue enough to drag my entire reputation through the political mud?

A packing plant in Aberdeen, which currently employs over 400 Somali Muslims, actively recruits workers from the Somali community in Minnesota. Lutheran Social Services buses them into our communities, and if you object or simply ask questions, they partner with groups that label you a hater, extremist, xenophobe and Islamophobe.

I’ve had enough.

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I will not stay silent as these political activists market themselves as soft and cuddly “interfaith” groups or deceptive front groups like “South Dakotans for Peace,” while they label fellow South Dakotans members of hate groups.

When you understand they have labeled a Christian organization founded by James Dobson, most famous for his Christian radio program, “Focus on the Family,” a national hate group, you understand the depths to which they would sink. Their efforts to marginalize and ostracize patriotic Christian Americans who have a history of military service and sacrifice need to be crushed.

When Lutheran Social Services, the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen Presentation Sisters, Avera Hospital and Sanford Hospital actively protest the simple statement that we “honor President Trump for his attempt to keep our nation safe from radical Islamic terrorism,” we have a serious problem that needs to be exposed.

It’s time to address the war on terror head on, just like President Trump has so bravely done. I’ve spent the last three years of my life preparing to lead this conversation.

Let’s roll.

Sen. Neal Tapio is a Republican candidate for the U.S. House who represents District 5 in Watertown in the South Dakota Legislature.

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