Shahram Hadian's family left Iran in 1978, when he was 7. Soon after the family's departure, an Islamic Revolution swept the country, eventually imposing strict Islamic law known as Shari'ah Law.
Hadian, raised Muslim but now a Christian minister in Everett told about 100 people Monday at the Benton PUD auditorium in Kennewick how he sees those same changes taking place throughout the world, including in America.
Hadian's talk, "The True Goal of Islam and the Threat of Shari'ah Law in America," was presented by the Tri-Cities Tea Party. Hadian was an unsuccessful Republican candidate last year for Washington state representative in the 44th District held by Democrat Hans Dunshee.
Throughout his speech, those in attendace sat rapt and expressed agreement on wide-ranging topics such as increasing U.S. border control, supporting Israel's right to statehood and pushing for laws that ensure American courts use only American laws.
He did clarify in his talk that he was taking issue with the ideology of Islam, not Muslims. "If you leave here hating Muslims, I have failed," he said.
Hadian then went on to question how some Muslims say Islam is a religion of peace. He said that in the Quran, Islam's prophet Mohammed at first advocated for peace. But later in the religion's holy book, Mohammed's verses "all of a sudden became violent."
Hadian also questioned some Muslims' contention that most Muslims are moderates. He pointed to research in which 36 percent of Muslims said they believed the attacks on the World Trade Center were in some way justified.
He also said the Quran teaches adherents the goal of Islam is that "every nation in the planet on earth must become Islamic and must implement Shari'ah Law."
He said Islam advocates are doing that partly through cultural methods, such as suppressing criticism of Islam, proselytizing through the media and internet and recruiting at universities.
Hadian also said Shari'ah Law allows men to have four wives and that Muslim women average eight children, allowing Islam to spread through population growth.
Additionally, Hadian said Shari'ah Law covers all aspects of a person's life, including laws that allow men to lightly beat their wives for disobedience or that dictate that Muslims who disavow the religion should be killed.
To illustrate his point, Hadian showed a video made in France showing Muslims blocking off a street to perform their Friday prayers, while policemen stood by watching.
Hadian said such footage showed how Muslims in Europe were getting special privileges that no other group would get.
He pointed out examples of such special treatment already happening in the United States as well.
He said a Texas school district considered requiring students to study Arabic, but then backed down when parents became upset.
He said an American financial institution has started offering Muslims no-interest loans out of respect for an Islamic tenet that says Muslims should not pay interest.
He also claimed officials in Dearborn, Mich., home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the nation, are tweaking local laws to make them more sympathetic to Muslims.
Additionally, Hadian claimed that leaders of several organized groups -- the Muslim Brotherhood, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Student Association -- have stated they want to spread Islam and Shari'ah Law and/or have ties to terrorist organizations.
He also claimed Hezbollah is working with the Mexican Cartel and that securing American borders is a national security issue.
At the end of his talk, Hadian encouraged audience members to speak the truth and not worry about being politically correct.
"Islam is not going to go away. It's going to continue to advance," he said. "I love America and I want to protect America and its ideals and its values."