The story behind the story

The life and Times-Gazette of Irv Oslin

Chasing the boogieman

Thursday I’ll cover an ethnic intimidation trial in Municipal Court.

We don’t cover a lot of trials there, but I thought this one warranted it. The case involves a Perrysville man who allegedly taunted an Ashland man of Middle Eastern lineage in a local restaurant. He’s charged with menacing, ethnic intimidation and disorderly conduct.

The alleged behavior evidently didn’t reach the felony level. But I felt it would be a good idea to cover this because it should inspire some dialog in the community — sorely needed dialog.

I say that in part because of an unfortunate situation last spring in which a vitriolic anti-Muslim speaker was invited to talk at our annual prayer breakfast.

The following is a Times-Gazette reader’s comment posted after I wrote a story about the speech. I’ll follow that with a copy-pasted version of the article.

3.
Posted by lasman May 11, 2010
I would second Arrowfans opinion. I was very unhappy to see our community be subjected to this speech full of hate at the local “prayer breakfast”. I certainly hope our local ministers do not support such rhetoric and will denounce this speech as a major mistake. Rev Bouquet and his fellow clergy owe an apology to the Ashland community for bringing this man to our city.
And our mayor should reject this radical right wing religious philosophy and apologize as well.
One might ask why the mayor’s office is selling tickets to the prayer breakfast anyway??

Here’s the article:

Kamal Saleem warned that a unified Muslim front is bent on infiltrating America in its quest for world domination.

Saleem addressed a record crowd of more than 500 people Thursday morning at the annual National Day of Prayer Community Breakfast at Ashland University’s John C. Myers Convocation Center.

He portrayed himself as a former terrorist-in-training who, among other things, has done the bidding of Saddam Hussein. Saleem said that after carrying out missions in Europe and the Middle East, he was sent to America as a young man to convert as many Christians and Jews as he could to Islam.

He cautioned that Allah and God are not the same.

“When they say we worship the same God, it is not so,” Saleem said. “They are completely different deities, completely different characters.”

He warned that Islam is a government, “one nation under Allah,” “one-world order,” in which a jihad (holy war) is brewing to socialize culture and bring the non-Muslim world to its knees.

Saleem told the audience the Muslim world believes the U.S. and Israel are the great Satan and the small Satan.

“We learn from our childhood that liberty, freedom and pursuit to happiness and democracy, these are false gods and false idols and they must be subdued and must be destroyed,” Saleem said.

He explained that Muslim boys are taught at a very early age how to infiltrate the U.S. by enrolling in universities or marrying American women to obtain citizenship, “so we can turn the Constitution against you.”

Saleem also warned that Islam has a strong foothold in Europe and is becoming increasingly entrenched in American society.

“They have over 500 lobbyists working the White House,” he said.

He indicated that Muslim investors once managed to influence coverage at Fox News.

“But thank God for Godly Christian men and women that rose up and set up the finances so that Fox News is free again.” Saleem said.

He told the audience that Muslims also have won converts among America’s poor by providing food, and getting inside our prisons to convert hundreds of thousands of inmates to Islam.

Saleem said it was a car crash that brought him to Christianity and changed his outlook on life. He said his doctors demonstrated unconditional Christian love, paying his bills, giving him a place to stay and buying him a car.

He was so impressed by the relationships the doctors had with their families and their God, he began to question his faith in Allah.

It was then, he said, that he experienced a miracle, that he actually heard the voice of God of the Bible.

“I said, ‘I’ll live and die for you, my lord,’ ” Saleem told the audience. “He said, ‘Do not die for me, I died for you that you might live.’ ”

Saleem concluded his keynote address by asking all the children in the audience to stand.

“Who will tell them nothing is going to happen to you?” Saleem asked. “Who will tell them tomorrow is going to be OK and nobody’s going to take your home, nobody’s going to invade your world?”

Quoting the Book of Isaiah, he cautioned that, if we fail to sound the alarm, the blood of the nation will be on our hands.

“This is the last and final frontier, who will fight with me?” Saleem asked. “Who will stand for what’s good and pure and right?”

Following Saleem’s talk, prayers were said for national, state and local leaders in the public and private sector, those serving in the military and their families, safety forces, educators, social workers, pastors and lay workers.

The event was sponsored by the Ashland County Ministerial Association with the support of local businesses and churches.

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