Anti-Islam speaker in town

On Wednesday, May 24th, a group of men – two from Minnesota and one from New Zealand – will be speaking at The Tuscan Center in St. Cloud at 6:30pm. Their talk with focus on what they say is a link between communism, terrorism, the “radical left” and Islam.

This talk is sponsored by “a group of area citizens concerned about the future of the U.S. Constitution”. Wow, talk about vague! My two cents is that, if something is worth supporting, put your name – heck, even your face – behind it. Why is it that the groups that sponsor anti-Islam speakers in our town hide in the shadows?

Free speech says this event is allowed. Free speech also means a counter-narrative can be spoken. Am I calling for a shut down of this talk? No. Should some of us be there to participate if there is a question and answer time? You bet.

Should everyone come to hear this talk? Probably not. If you are like me and think a counter-narrative is important at an event like this, please show up.

However, if you are not sure if you can stay calm in the midst of things that you disagree with and people that disagree with you – and, if it’s anything like the other talks like this, yell in your face about how much they despise you – then, I don’t think you should come. We need a resistance that is so opposite of the fear-mongering, community-dividing narrative that will happen here, that people can’t help but think twice about what is going on.

As I’ve said before, it is not the speakers that come into St. Cloud, drop their “truth” and then leave that I am all that concerned about. What concerns me is the aftermath of people in our area getting more worked up than they already are to think that their Muslim neighbors are all conspiring to kill them, behead them, plots act of terror against them, and overthrow our government. That is why I will attend this talk – to remind my neighbors attending this event that they don’t have to succumb to a life of fear and hatred of the people living next door to them. I will be there to remind my fellow Central Minnesotans that we are strongest when we work to build each other up, not tear each other down by our differences in where we were born or what religion we practice.

Who’s with me?

About the Author

Natalie Ringsmuth

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Natalie grew up in Central Minnesota and received her Music Education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead. She taught middle school choir in Georgia and worked in the church sector for about a decade. She now works in an immigration law office and is the Founder and Director of #unitecloud, a non-profit working to reduce racial, religious, and cultural tensions in St. Cloud. She is also the Vice-Chair of the Stride Academy school board, a charter school located in St. Cloud. In her spare time (haha) she loves to spend time with her husband and 3 children.