The prophets of the Hebrew scriptures are known for their warnings of doom and gloom, but even Jeremiah – arguably the gloomiest Old Testament sage – would have tipped his hat to the Rev. David Clippard at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting here this week.
Clippard reserved his strongest words for what he said he considered paramount for all Americans: the threat of Islam. “Today, Islam has a strategic plan to defeat and occupy America,” he told the 1,200-strong crowd of delegates (called “messengers”), pastors and lay people, many of whom cheered his words.
Clippard said the Saudi Arabian government and royal family had funded teaching positions and 138 Muslim student centers on university campuses across the United States, three in the University of Missouri system in Columbia, Rolla and St. Louis. “What they are after is your sons and daughters,” Clippard said. “They are coming to this country in the guise of students, and the Saudi government is paying their expenses.”
Clippard said that Muslims were hoping to take over the United States government one city at a time, and that they were starting with Detroit, where there is already a large Muslim population. “They are trying to establish a Muslim state inside America, and they are going to take the city of Detroit back to the 15th century and practice Sharia (or Islamic) law there.”
In an interview Tuesday, Clippard said he believed the Islamic “strategy for taking over America” was to wait until there was a Muslim majority here and then “eradicate those who don’t conform to their religion.” On Monday night, he told the crowd that “your freedom is on the floor with their foot on it, with their sword raised, and if you don’t convert, your head comes off.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was not surprised about the content of Clippard’s message, but he said he was worried about its effects.
“This kind of hate-filled, ignorant rhetoric shouldn’t be coming from religious leaders in our country who should instead be repudiating this kind of bigotry,” he said. “He may be comfortable saying these things behind closed doors, but the real impact is on everyday Muslims who have to live with the consequences of this kind of talk.”
Clippard said Tuesday that his message was really about love.