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Group condemns SD Military Alliance speaker

SIOUX FALLS S.D. (KELO)– Members of South Dakota Voices for Peace are denouncing the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance, who is hosting Shahram Hadian in Sioux Falls on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hadian is a former Muslim turned Christian from Iran, who criticizes interfaith dialogue between the two groups. He is a public speaker that promotes Christianity and condemns the Islamic faith.

According to the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance website, a private event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to social media posts by Matthew Monfore, Hadian will speak about “We will not comply” and “One World Religion Rising” at 6:30 p.m. July 9 and 10 at the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance. Monfore ran as a Republican Representative candidate in District 30, but only received 4% of the vote in the June primary election.

In a news release, Democrat Sen. Liz Larson, a member of SD Voices for Peace, said Hadian’s statements counter what the United States Military stand for.

“Our Military is a fundamental, central part of the United States Government and is tasked with defending our democracy, I am confused by the disconnect,” Larson said in a news release.

Taneeza Islam, CEO of SD Voices for Peace, said Hadian preys on the vulnerabilities of rural America by spreading misinformation and disinformation to create hate and mistrust.

“By hosting this hate speaker, we clearly know what the values of the Military Heritage Alliance are. Private institutions are not bound by the First Amendment’s “free speech” clause, only government entities cannot restrict speech,” Islam said. “They may welcome this speaker, but the greater community of Sioux Falls does not welcome his imported hate.” 

Hadian has appeared in Sioux Falls before and was met with protesters.

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