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(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 4/6/17) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) Today expressed concerned about the recent spike of hate crimes targeting Minnesota Muslims. Four hate crime incidents targeting Muslims men and women occurred in a span of two weeks in Minnesota.
On March 25th, Willmar man, Zachary Todd Degraw, 23 choked a Somali cab driver while driving from downtown St. Cloud to a bar east of the city. Degraw, face charges of assault motivated by bias, a gross misdemeanor, and two counts of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault. Drew
"Our community is on edge as we continue to get more reports of hate crimes targeting the Minnesota Muslim Community," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "We ask our state leaders to publicly repudiate the growing Islamophobia that has resulted in an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes in our state"
Hussein noted four incidents have occurred in a span of two week in Moorhead, two in Minneapolis and in one in St Cloud.
CAIR-MN Seeks Criminal Charges for Harassment Targeting Muslim Woman Shopper
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 3/21/17) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) is calling on law enforcement authorities to reconsider bringing criminal charges against a man who allegedly harassed a Muslim woman shopper in Moorhead, Minn., because of her Islamic attire (hijab).
According to the alleged victim, Fardoso Mohamed who was shopping at the Hornbacher's in Moorhead MN, the man told her, "Hey, you need to remove the hijab." "He was very close to me, and he was yelling very hard, very mad," said Mohamed, who noted that harassment of hijab-wearing women is not unusual in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Mohamed says she walked away from the man, but he reportedly followed her through the store and confronted her again about her religious attire. Bystanders did not assist Mohamed or intervene on her behalf. But a Hornbacher’s employee did confront the perpetrator, and he eventually left. A Moorhead police spokesman said he believed that while the man's behavior was rude, no laws were broken.
CAIR-Minnesota Calls for Hate Crime Probe After Muslim Woman is Followed, Threatened
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 3/22/17) -- The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate an incident in which a Muslim woman was allegedly followed and then threatened by two people in Minneapolis as a possible hate crime.
According to the alleged victim, who was wearing an Islamic head scarf (hijab) and was with her one-year-old child, the two people followed her for 7-8 minutes while she was driving and then blocked her from parking her car. One of those two people, a woman, then reportedly approached the Muslim woman's car and started shouting abuse and obscenities including, "You should f***ing go home, and you should be f***ing deported," and threatened to "rip her face off if she sees her again."
The Minneapolis Police Department is looking in to the incident, including examining surveillance video from the neighboring stores.
"This incident is alarming and appears to be the result of growing Islamophobia -- and it must be treated with the seriousness it deserves," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "It's troubling to know that Muslim women in our state have to fear going about in their daily lives."
Hussein noted that this is the second such incident in the span of a week in Minnesota. This past Saturday, a Muslim woman was followed and harassed by a man in Moorhead, Minn.
CAIR-MN to Welcome Chisago County's Decision to Reverse Denial of Permit for Muslim Cemetery
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 3/15/17) - On Thursday, March 16, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will hold a news conference in Minneapolis to welcome the issuance of a conditional use permit for an Islamic cemetery by the Chisago County Board.
SEE: Under pressure from feds, Chisago County Board set to reconsider turned-down Muslim cemetery
The Islamic Community of Bosniaks of Minnesota (ICBMN) applied for conditional use permit for a cemetery in Chisago County in the fall of 2016. The community needed additional cemetery space that was affordable. The Chisago Lake Township Board, in an advisory capacity, recommended that the County board grant the permit. The Chisago County Planning Commission held a public hearing on the permit on December 1, 2016, and voted to recommend that the Chisago County Board approve the conditional use permit with some conditions.
The Chisago County Board met on December 21, 2016, and voted to deny the conditional use permit.
ICBMN filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals of the decision saying that it was arbitrary. On March 15, 2017, the Chisago County Board decided to reconsider its previous decision. It reversed its previous decision and voted to grant the conditional use permit.