COEUR d'ALENE - The governor auctioned off items, legislators mingled with constituents, and a Christian pastor - born in Iran but now a U.S. citizen - warned of insidious Islamic incursion.
Close to 450 guests attended the Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday night at The Coeur d'Alene Resort convention center. Hosted by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, the event brought together many of the state's brightest political stars, including Idaho GOP Chair Norm Semanko, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
Effusive and energetic, Otter spoke to the crowd and later ran through a live auction.
"I thought he did a wonderful job," said Judee Scarola of Coeur d'Alene. "I thought he was very inspirational, and I definitely believe he was representing his constituents very well."
Shahram Hadian was the night's guest speaker. He lived in Iran until he was seven years old, then immigrated to the United States with his Muslim family, fleeing an oppressive Islamic government. Twelve years ago, Hadian said, he "gave his life to Jesus" and converted to Christianity.
"My family disowned me for a while," he said.
Currently a pastor in western Washington, he ran for the state legislature in last year's election.
According to Hadian, Islam is not a religion of peace. A large number of Muslims, led by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, are bent on world domination, he said.
"In Islam, peace is achieved when a country becomes predominately Muslim," Hadian said. "Islam is not just a religion. Islam is a constitution. It is a political ideology."
He spoke of sharia law and jihad, and claimed some Islamic groups are actually fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.
If Muslims are allowed to impose their rules, "Sharia law will not be subservient. It will be parallel," Hadian told the audience. "Please stop being politically correct."
The pastor implored his listeners to make immigration a national security issue. But, he said, his message is not about hating Muslims.
"I appreciate the honesty," said Marissa Mendive of Coeur d'Alene. "I think America needs to stop being so tolerant, because we're heading downhill fast. And I appreciate the patriotism here."
James Hoialmen of Post Falls said he found the evening's topics interesting.
"I think (Hadian) had a lot of good points. I also look at it as, 'In God We Trust' - it's stamped right on our bills. Our nation is founded on God. I'm a true, strong Christian, and definitely always stand with Christ."