Republicans from North Dakota’s 24th District were outraged after they learned the state House and Senate sessions would be opened with the help of Dr. Nadim Koleilat, a leader of the local Muslim community.
Though all mentions of Dr. Nadim Koleilat’s planned benediction have been deleted from the North Dakota District 24 Republicans’ Facebook page, Raw Story reported Dan Johnston, the spokesperson for the group, wrote, “Let’s face it, the very enemy our country has been perpetually at war with since Sept. 11, 2001 uses the words of the Koran and the example of their founding Prophet Muhammad as justification for the slaughter of infidels (Christians, anybody not Muslim) the world over.”
He continued, “I respect people of other religious and ethnic backgrounds, but given the current situation in world affairs I view this as political correctness at its worst.” Johnston concluded with, “does this amount to the worst form of political correctness? What do you think?”
Facebook user Mary Runck Nicholas went so far as to insinuate including a Muslim leader in the benediction would somehow lead to domestic warfare. “Fargo has seen a huge influx of Muslims since Obama took office. Why do you think that is?” she wrote.
“Wake up! We will be at war in our own country with a vicious, merciless enemy allowed to slowly slide in under the guise of ‘diversity.’”
After the outrage, Dr. Koleilat’s benediction in the North Dakota House of Representatives was cancelled, but he is still scheduled to pray with the state Senate when it opens on Feb. 25.
Republicans are still fighting the benediction. “[P]lease call and email your legislators and let them know your opinion,” Johnston wrote in a Facebook post.