A virulent anti-Islamic speaker known for telling his listeners that Muslims are in the United States to behead Christians and Jews plans a four-night speaking stand in central Minnesota this week, an area where Somali-Americans have been targeted by anti-immigration groups.
The upcoming talks by Usama Dakdok, an Egyptian Coptic Christian who says he has translated his own version of the Qur'an, have generated concern among people who've monitored his speeches elsewhere in the country.
"We are encouraging people who are going to his talk to come have a talk with us," said Natalie Ringsmuth, a St. Cloud woman who started a group, #UniteCloud, to counter what she saw as hostile reactions to the city's Muslim community. Ringsmuth said a group of up to 50 people plan to stand outside Dakdok's speech on Friday at Granite City Baptist Church in St. Cloud to say that he doesn't represent their community.