ST. PAUL, Minn. - North and central Minnesota have become fertile ground for traveling speakers who have built national careers spreading alarm about the danger they say Islam poses in the U.S.

MPR News reports that at dozens of rural churches and schools, speakers have warned crowds about refugees and called on them to be prepared to oppose Muslims in Minnesota. The events come at a time of mounting political tension over immigration ahead of the contentious presidential election.

Speaker Usama Dakdok has appeared in northern Minnesota over 20 times in just a year and a half, drawing hundreds of supporters.

Dakdok's talks in Minnesota have been met with protests from groups that consider what he says hate speech.

Dakdok recently spoke at the Oak Street Chapel in Brainerd. The church board resigned after fighting about whether he should've been invited.