The chairman of one branch of the Idaho Republican Party sent out a startlingly anti-Muslim mass email on Monday, offending Muslims in the state and sending the state party into damage control mode.
According to the Idaho Statesman, Bonneville County Republican Central Committee Chairman Doyle Beck did not write the email blast — titled “Islam in Idaho” –but felt that its message was one that should be sent on to all Idaho Republicans.
The essay was penned by Bonneville Republican Central Committee Becky Prestwich, who darkly warned that militant Islamists are “ready to rise up and kill” non-adherents to their faith and that the terrorists have been trained to conceal their violent intentions by acting “two-faced,” pretending to outsiders that they are peaceful members of the community.
Idahoans, she said, must “demand that our lawmakers and law enforcers pay attention and ascertain whether or not there is a potential threat.”
“It is no secret that the ‘Islamatization’ of America is a widespread fear. I am not fully versed on the Qu’ran but I have studied it to some degree,” she went on.
“There are at least 109 (chapters of the Quran) that advocate violence and death towards infidels,” Prestwich wrote. “And make no mistake; if you are not a Muslim, you are an infidel. Period.”
“Contrary to what organizations like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) tells us, there is absolutely a culture of deception in the Muslim faith, taught by the Qu’ran,” she said. “Muslims are taught to be ‘two faced’; that is, to present the face of friendship to enemies but to inwardly hate them. To wait to be called to jihad and be ready to rise up and kill the enemy when called.”
Muslims in the area responded angrily to the assertions.
Idaho State University professor Daniel Hummel, who is Muslim, told the Statesman that these types of bigoted pronouncements are nothing new.
“This is the same garbage that we’ve been hearing forever,” Hummel said, but it poses a real danger to Muslims in the U.S. in that “there could be vigilantes out there.”
“Over the last decade I have made several hundred friends and colleagues in Idaho most of them either belong to LDS religion or other forms of Christianity,” wrote Rahim. “Just like you they have read snippets of Quran without a historical context of Islam. I have read pages and chapters of the Book of Mormon and the Bible, but after meeting such amazing people in Idaho who practice several different forms of religion, I have a great respect and understanding for all the religions because I have personally learned and interacted with the people who practice them.”
“We Idahoans are building bridges of love and understanding so our next generations can thrive and love each other regardless of our culture, religion and identity, he said. “Please don’t spoil it for your political gains. And stop spreading hatred and fear.”
On Wednesday night, Prestwich attempted to walk back the more inflammatory parts of her essay, saying in another mass email, “The article called ‘Islam in Idaho’ was an opinion piece I wrote and included in the BCRCC Newsletter. These views are not necessarily the views of the BCRCC. While I in no way believe or indicate that all those who claim the Muslim faith as their own are radical or dangerous, I do make the assertion that, if only 10 percent of Muslims are of the radical variety, that equates to some 160 million adherents bent on holy jihad. And you are hard pressed to find very many peaceful Muslims who will condemn the acts of these radicals.”
She insisted, however, that this doesn’t mean that she is prejudiced.
“To accuse me of bigotry (as I’ve heard was at least one response) because I see the potential for the same kinds of things that are happening around the world to happen here is simply political correctness at its worst,” she said.