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Twin Cites community leaders speak out against anti-Muslim bigots

By staff |
June 9, 2017
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Community leaders speak out against anti-Muslim bigots at Minneapolis press conference. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - The Minnesota chapter of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, held a press conference, June 9, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis to show unity on the eve of ACT for America’s national “March Against Sharia.”

ACT for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group, has called for a protest against Muslims in Minnesota at the state capitol as part of a coordinated series of protests in over 20 cities across the nation on June 10. Their day of action is timed to coincide with Ramadan when Muslims around the world fast during the daylight hours, and explicitly targets Muslims at a time when racist violence has spiked.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR MN explained, “ACT’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, regularly vilifies Muslims, claiming that practicing Muslims cannot be loyal to the United States. She also once said that ‘every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim’ and that Muslims are a ‘natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society.’ Both she and ACT have had a long history of promoting policies at the federal and state levels intended to manufacture fear of Muslims, and the organization has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Hussein announced two events for supporters to go to stand with the Muslim community. On June 10 at 11 a.m. there will be a rally to oppose anti-Muslim bigotry at the State Capitol (75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in Saint Paul) and from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. there will be a Unity Iftar (breaking of the fast) on the streets of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood (on the street near 504 Cedar Ave S) in Minneapolis.

Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders spoke in solidarity with the Muslim community in Minnesota.

Misty Rowan, a leader with the Anti-War Committee, closed the press conference, “The fact of the matter is that anti-Muslim bigotry did not start after the 2016 election. Wars started by Bush, continued and expanded by Obama, have now been handed over to our current president. And they have fueled hatred against Muslims for over a decade. The inhumanity of war requires that we view the lives of the other side as expendable and these attitudes of misunderstanding and scapegoating have been fostered by blind nationalism. We cannot allow this rhetoric to go unchallenged. And to demonize immigrant communities from countries we are bombing and then banning them from coming to the U.S. is unjust.”

Rowan concluded, “We have seen that hate speech leads to hate crimes. It is important for the anti-war movement to stand up to Trump’s bans, Trump’s bombs, Trump’s walls and Trump’s wars. And to say no to hate in our state – not tomorrow and not ever.”

Rowan urged everyone to join in the protest at the State Capitol against anti-Muslim bigotry.