Blog Archives

Meet Salman Kirmani

By Salman Kirmani, Green Card Voices

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“Even if people did not know where I was from, they respected who I was; they respected I was different. Their respect was a very endearing thing for me and defined that this is the community I want to live in. This is the community I want my kids to grow up in.”

As a medical student. Dr. Kirmani was loyal to his community in Pakistan. And although his training led him to Minnesota, he believed he would return to assist and comfort the elders in his community back home.

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Unity, an Unfortunate Deficit of Minnesota Muslims

By Omar Alansari-Kreger, Engage Minnesota

Great efforts have been made and initiatives launched, but how successful have such undertakings been in marshaling a greater Muslim identity across the Twin Cities?

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We all have day jobs. It is a fact of life. In order to survive, one must work to sustain a living. We sacrifice a great deal for our day jobs. A great proportion of our true identity is misplaced only to be frozen on the sidelines. As a professional that specializes in caring for the elderly and developmentally challenged, there is one crucial fact of life I take home each day: the best things in life are free. Sundays are special to people that grew up under the Judeo-Christian tradition. They share a great reverence for their communities. In their company, I have noticed a unique willingness to share the burden of the communal blunt when faced with hardships.

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Meet Reza Alizadeh

By Tea Rozman-Clark, Green Card Voices

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The Iranian Revolution brought about many social and political changes within the country. When Reza Alizadeh saw the revolutionaries’ many promises go unfulfilled, he saw no other option but to find refuge someplace else.

Prior to the revolution, Mr. Alizadeh enjoyed a happy and carefree life with his parents and siblings. At the age of thirteen, he witnessed the collapse of his government and, eventually, his society. He made plans to immigrate to the United States just as his brother had done years earlier.

Mr. Alizadeh’s journey out of Iran included enduring a rough bus ride, navigating security checkpoints, hiding in a swamp for several days, traversing down a rugged mountain path on horseback, and dodging heavy crossfire. To his relief, he arrived in Turkey unharmed and began the process of starting his new life. After a brief time in Italy, Reza was granted political asylum in the United States and rejoined his brother.

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Expressing our gratitude to the elderly

By Memoona Ghani, Engage Minnesota

MemonaJune 18th, 2016, Saturday was the Global Impact Day initiated by AlMaghrib Institute. Last year, in 2015, Global Impact Day provided an opportunity to Muslim volunteers to pay attention to the homeless fellows in the community, and that lead many volunteers doing projects for homeless on a regular basis. This year, 2016, Global Impact day (GID) was somewhat triggered by stories similar to these.

Bob was sitting by the window in his room, looking outside without any expression on his face. The window had a view of the street, and one could see people walking, running, cars going by, that roller skating and skateboarding kids and then the gardening experts tending to their plants and flowers. He would often go into this state where he would usually sit quietly and think about the past. Upon asking what he was thinking about, he didn’t answer at first but then started speaking in short sentences with pauses while still looking outside He said:

“Once I used to run.”

“In the morning and evening.”

“My wife would do gardening.”

“We would go for vacation to places.”

“Hiking for hours and hours.”

“I would drive to my friends.”

“I had a very nice car. I bought it after many years of working at my job.”

“I loved my work. I was very smart. People would ask my advice.”

“I used to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I was good at building houses. People would love it.”

“Now I can’t make anyone happy.”

“When I stand, my feet feel like as if the flesh inside my feet is being ripped or some bone in my foot is stabbing the flesh in the foot.”

“My knees feel like as if trying to carry the whole body. My knees get heavy when I stand.”

“I had surgery for both eyes. Why can’t I see clearly?”

“Nobody needs my advice. They think I don’t know anything.”

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A specially designed Eid (blessed holiday)

By Nemeh Sarraj, Engage Minnesota

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On Wednesday, June 29th Disability Awareness Project held it’s first ever fun day event for Muslim kids with disabilities and the Muslim community with a Minion theme.

The event went really well Alhamdullilah (Thanks to God). We expected only three kids to come up as Muslim families who have a loved one with a disability generally don’t like going out to events due to stigma reasons.

We had five kids with disabilities show up and fifteen “typical” kids. It was a blast.

Per parents request, some children were not included in the photo.

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One mom who has two kids with autism stated that this was her kids Eid outing because it’s almost impossible for her kids to do anything on Eid because either there’s too many people or because other families “forget” to ask her to come. The organization has received requests to do more events and activities.

Nemeh Al-Sarraj is a graduate of Metropolitan State University. She completed an undergraduate degree in Bachelors of Human Services in Disability Studies. As someone who has lived with many different disabilities throughout her life, Nemeh has both academic and personal knowledge and understanding of what it means to have a disability and has spent the past nine years raising awareness about different disabilities like autism, throughout the community.  A strong champion of rights for Muslims with disabilities, her goals include educating the community about different disability topics and issues and helping Muslims with disabilities in the community feel welcomed and included.  In 2014, The Arc Greater Twin Cities has honored Nemeh Sarraj of Spring Lake Park with its “Changing Attitudes” Changemaker Award.

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In the footsteps of Muhammad Ali

By Amaiya Zafar, Engage Minnesota

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Hey! My name is Amaiya Zafar, I am 16 years old, and I am an amateur boxer. I have been training for over two years, and I have a love for boxing that overpowers any hardships that come with the various sport.  My hero is Muhammad Ali and I hope to follow in his footsteps.

There is a rule for amateur boxers that states we must wear the boxing trunks/jersey uniform and nothing more; as a Muslimah, I cover my body to show self-respect and my faith in God. So this, and the fact that there are few girls my age and weight for me to fight is the main reasons I have yet to compete.

In the 2+ years, I’ve pursued boxing; I have faced a lot of adversity. While most support me on this journey, some have opinions that they are eager to share, telling me I should take up baking or sewing rather than taking on a “men’s sport.” Even after being told that I will not be allowed to compete in my Capsters sports hijab and under armor underneath my uniform, I have kept up my training. I train as if I have a fight every day. I work to keep myself at my very best and to keep God first. When the time comes, I will be ready to fight my hardest! I have the support from my coaches, teammates, and my family to keep me going.

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Support a platform for Minnesotan Muslims

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“When we view ourselves as the protagonist of a story in which we are always right, we collect grievances about other people by noticing everything we do and noting the ‘injustices’ that are done to us.  All of this builds resentment within us and instigates conflict.”  –Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah 

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A Somali MPR reporter is stopped at the courthouse where he’s been going every day.

A 6th grade Muslim schoolgirl in New York is called “ISIS,” put in headlock, and punched as middle-school boys tried to pull off her headscarf.

A fourteen-year-old boy who wants to show his clock to a teacher is treated as a terrorist.

My daughter is called a “terrorist” in school.

These are not isolated incidents, but part of an increasingly powerful narrative about Muslims. I get up early to read the news. When I do, I find Muslims all over the world, mainly in a negative light, often framed as a stereotype of violence and hatred.

In the last year, the voices of ISIS and their supporters have been saturating the internet—both because of their shocking acts and because of how well they fit with stereotypes of the “eternally violent” Muslim. One would think they are the majority of Muslims rather than a fringe minority.

All around the world, Muslims are working as journalists, attending school, inventing things—but extremists get the coverage and the mic. The picture is overwhelmed by them, and they seem like the majority.

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Photo exhibit sheds light on cultural clashes between immigrant parents and their American children

By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost

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The teenage experience can be an emotional roller coaster for many young people navigating through complex life choices as they transition to adulthood and establish an identity.

But for many American-born teens with immigrant parents, the challenges are even more pronounced in their day-to-day experiences, as their parents tend to reinforce lifestyle and religious practices that are foreign to their children.

That pressure often invites a cultural clash between parents and their teens — many of them feeling torn between two very different worlds: a conservative Muslim community and a secular American society.

For years, emerging Somali-American visual storytellers Muna Malik and Khadija Charif have been taking notes on how their friends have dealt with identity issues and the struggle of living at home in one culture, while attending school in a completely different culture.

The pair eventually turned their notes into two photography projects exploring one story: the experience of Minnesota teenagers and their struggle to balance different cultures. The joint exhibition will open Wednesday afternoon at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Malik, born in Yemen and raised in Minneapolis, created “Behind Both Fences,” a project featuring four Somali-American and Sudanese teens who came of age in the Twin Cities.

Charif’s “Jaded Youth” exhibit features four local Somali-American and Ethiopian college students to shed light — as Charif noted — on “the beauty of what it means to be an immigrant, although it’s jaded and it’s hard trying to balance both our cultural life with our life here.”

Continue reading at MinnPost

Ibrahim Hirsi reports on immigrant communities, social issues, marginalized groups and people who work on making a difference in the lives of others. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, he interned for Newsday and has written for multiple publications in Minnesota.

Ibrahim Hirsi can be reached at ihirsi@minnpost.com.  Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.

WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?

If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

Conversation with Actor Barkhad Abdirahman

By Ahmed TharwatBelAhdan

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Writer/director Musa Syeed’s film takes place in Minneapolis, which hosts a sizable Somalian immigrant community. The story, regarding a down-on-his-luck Somalian refugee named Adan (Barkhad Abdirahman), doesn’t shy away from showing the specific cultural conflicts a Muslim Somalian immigrant may face in the U.S., but the general issues depicted could easily apply to someone from any culture or country. Just like many people who leave their lives behind in order to start from scratch in the U.S., Adan tries to integrate into society while working to make a life for himself, all the while struggling to keep in touch with his culture and religion.

For example, hiding a dog in a Muslim house is like hiding ET.

Listen to Interview of Barkhad Abdirahman

Ahmed Tharwat is host of the Arab-American TV show “Belahdan,” which airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. on Twin Cities Public Television. He blogs at Notes From America, on http://www.ahmediatv.com. Follow him on Twitter @AhmediaTV.

WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?

If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

Community Leaders to Address Rising Islamophobia in Minnesota

By CAIR-MN
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(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 4/4/16) – On Tuesday, April 5, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will join interfaith, social justice and community organizations and leaders at a news conference in St. Paul., Minn., to address the challenges facing Minnesota Muslims because of the rise of Islamophobia in that state and nationwide.
WHAT: Community Leaders Press Conference to address Islamophobia in Minnesota.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 5, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
WHERE: MN Senate Office Building, Room 181, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN, 55155-1232
CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, E-mail: jhussein@cair.com
CAIR-Minnesota is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070jhussein@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726ihooper@cair.com

WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?

If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

A Humanitarian Event For Syria

By Amber Michel, Engage Minnesota

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So often we feel powerless to address the immense suffering of our fellow human beings. Those feelings

of helplessness have become especially oppressive as we see hundreds of thousands of our Syrian sisters and brothers struggling, fleeing, starving, and dying.

My name is Amber and I am an organizer with CISPOS (Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria).

When I talk about Syria, one of the comments I hear most often is, “I don’t even understand what’s happening over there. It’s just so complicated.” People frequently follow that up with, “It’s so sad but what can we really do?” It is tempting to simply leave it at that, change the television channel, go back to homework, and busy ourselves in the activities of daily life.

Instead, I encourage us to give serious consideration to those two sentiments.

1. It’s just so complicated.
2. What can we really do?

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Encountering the Other: Conversation with An Israeli Woman

By Dorit Miles, Engage Minnesota

IMG_0448It all began with my telling myself, an Israeli born, that if the Palestinian physician, Dr. Abuelaish can write the book,” I Shall Not Hate”, after losing three daughters in the conflict, I can make an effort to know more about the Palestinian people, in the spirit of peace.

That was several years ago. In January of this year, I joined a group of 22 travelers on an Interfaith trip to Israel and Palestine, led by Rabbi Amy Eilberg, of Minneapolis. Our guides were a Muslim Palestinian and a Jewish Israeli. The emphasis was on dialogue, multi religious perspectives and an in depth look at the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ lives and their conflict with each other. The trip had an enormous effect on me.

Upon returning to Minneapolis I started talking in my community about this experience.

On a recent presentation, five members of our group shared our impressions in a gathering in a bookstore with an audience of about forty people.

It was the first time I addressed a mainly Pro Palestinian audience. I was scared and thought to myself while my co presenters were talking about the evils of the Israeli occupation, “what have I gotten myself into?”.

But, I am passionate about meeting ‘the other’ and am very concerned about the growing hate today, everywhere, not just the Middle East. So I talked.

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Muslim Day at the Capitol (MDAC)

By Engage Minnesota

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 – many Mosques and Islamic Organizations have joined hands to advocate for Muslims.

Some individuals get afraid when Muslims are seen and heard advocating for their rights.  In a lecture, an attendee was afraid of Muslims filing lawsuits when their rights were violated or asking for bills to be introduced to protect them from hate crimes.

This is an irrational fear based on the unknown and fear of others.  Our diversity is something to celebrate and not be ashamed of.

Why Is This Important?

Many of us who watch the news today are wondering how to frame current events, how to grapple with our identities as Muslim Americans, and how to represent the beauty of Islam as a religion well within the boundaries of modern civil discourse.

This is our chance to join our brothers and sisters and have our voice heard.

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We are One MN: Standing United in Celebrating Community

By Multiple AuthorsCommunity Leaders

Over the years, Minnesota has been at the forefront of welcoming refugees and other immigrants from around the world. In fact, most Minnesotans are themselves descendants of immigrants, including refugees who escaped war, persecution, or natural disasters in the lands from which they emigrated. This is part of the rich heritage of Minnesota we have long celebrated.

However, today Minnesotans are deeply concerned when we hear reports of Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of intolerance around our nation, abroad, and even in Minnesota. Anti-Muslim attitudes, acts of anti-Semitism, and growing fear of refugees from Syria and other troubled countries are increasingly finding expression in hateful speech, prejudice and even acts of violence in our state and beyond. Now is the time to reaffirm our solidarity with and support of all who live and work in our community, particularly for the newest Minnesotans among us. Our goal is to send a clear message that all are welcome in Minnesota and that we stand united against the intolerance and hostility that too many refugees and migrants have reportedly encountered in our state.  As a community graced with a rich diversity of people, let us join together to celebrate We are One MN: Standing United in Celebrating Community.

We are One MN event details

When:           Sunday, April 24, 2016, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Where:          Saint Paul RiverCenter, 175 W Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55102
What:            Speakers, food, music, and spoken-word performances from many countries and cultures.  Greetings from local, state, and national elected officials. The exhibit “Tents of Witness:  Genocide and Conflict.” Ethnic handicrafts, art, and books available for purchase. Art project. Videos of personal journeys of new and settled refugees in Minnesota.

The program is sponsored and supported by a number of state and local leaders from public and private sectors, including government agencies, faith communities, educational institutions, service clubs and immigrant support groups.

Your support is critical. Consider adding your name and that of your organization to our list of event sponsors. Then share the event widely with your memberships, constituencies, colleagues, friends, and family. Most importantly, join us in this important celebration and stand with us to celebrate community on April 24th.

Thank you,

Jessi Kingston, Director, Saint Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity
Ellen Kennedy, Executive Director, World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

To add your name and that of your organization to our list of event sponsors contact:

Jef Yang
Section 3 Coordinator
CERT Certification Specialist
Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity
15 West Kellogg Blvd Suite 280
Saint Paul, MN 55102
P: 651-266-8968
F: 651-266-8919
jef.yang@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Conversation with Sidra on Islam and Chilin

By Memoona Ghani, Engage Minnesota

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It is a general sentiment among people (Muslims and Non-Muslims) that Islam has no room for having fun. It is not true. Islam does allow having Halal (permissible) fun, but within some boundaries. There is no free pass to all things. And taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture shows that it all leads to good morals and ethics which leads us to become better people. Why do we worry about having fun anyways? The fact is we need a way to keep our minds and bodies healthy, a way to come alleviate the stress and a way to improve relationships.

The topic of Chilin is very important to kids, teenagers and young adults. I always wonder how does this particular category fit within the boundaries of religion or does such a boundary exist?

I recently attended a seminar on the rulings of having fun in Islam held by AlMaghrib institute. I know the name of the seminar might sound kind of heavy but yes there are rulings of Chilin in Islam, that some practicing Muslims adhere to. Instead of sharing my thoughts, I decided to chat with a teenager and listen to her thoughts after the lecture.

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Sidra Islam attended different seminars offered by AlMaghrib, despite being in school and having studies and many activities. Here is her experience from the class, Fiqh of Chilin.  The term Fiqh means Islamic judisprudence or rulings.

 

 

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Why participate in a caucus?

By Nausheena Hussain, Engage Minnesota

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“So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind — it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact — I can only submit to the edict of others.“

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that during one of the most critical times in America. He fought for our right to vote in an era when discrimination, hate crimes against the African American community were horrific and painful, to say the least.

I’ve been living in Minnesota for almost 8 years. I’ve voted in four elections and plan to again this year. I learned about caucuses in 2012, but didn’t participate. Not sure if I was too busy, didn’t understand, and so didn’t really care.

I regret not engaging.

On Wednesday, February 24, I partnered with Carol Woehrer from Think Again MN to host a Nonpartisan Caucus Workshop training. The training was held at Al Amal School in the evening. State Senator Jim Abeler of State District 35 kicked off the training by providing a general overview of caucus and conventions. Hollies Winston, the Affirmative Action and Outreach Director of the African American DFL Caucus, explained who can participate and what occurs at the caucus. Carol Woehrer wrapped up the evening explaining what resolutions are, how to write one, and conducted a mock resolution procedure.

If you missed it, don’t fret. Here’s a quick overview.

What is a caucus?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvsKoawanD8

For those of you who are more visual, check out this video on what Minnesota caucuses are all about.

Caucus is a group of people with shared concerns within a political party or larger organization. Caucuses organize at their precincts, which is a voting district, basically comprising of your neighborhood.  By definition, it’s a grassroots effort organized by Minnesota’s political parties.

Who’s eligible to attend?

  1. Open to the Public
  2. 16 years old to participate in Caucus Business
  3. In order to vote, offer resolutions, become a delegate or be elected to an organizing unit convention position:
  • Be eligible to vote in the fall election
  • Must reside in that precinct at the time of the caucus
  • Must be in general agreement with the principles of the political party holding the caucus as stated in the party’s constitution.
  1. No person may participate or vote in more than one party’s caucus in any one year

What Happens at a Precinct Caucus?

This is the most important question.  First, you sign in by providing a signature confirming you are a member of the party. You’ll see people from your neighborhood, school and even city.

Next, the group will elect a Caucus Chair and Vice Chair, who will preside over the caucus and keep order.  A Secretary and two tellers to count votes will be chosen. Reading of letters from party officials will occur. Local candidates and city officials may also drop in and say a few words.

Votes? That’s right. You will vote. A Straw Poll will be held where you will make your choice on who the party’s nomination will be for President.  Voting starts at 7:00pm and ends sharp at 8:00 pm.

If you can’t make it, absentee forms are available on party websites.

Once that is done, you will elect Precinct Chairs, Senate District Convention Delegates and finally propose and vote on resolutions.

We need to show up.

Citizens can influence the direction and decisions made by their government.

The power is in the caucus. You get to make a decision on your party’s choice for party’s presidential nomination. You get to influence that decision here and now.

At the caucus you also get to propose on resolutions that your party should include in the party’s platform.

Instead of complaining and getting upset over not being heard or included, here’s your chance to voice your opinions, what you care about, and what changes you want to see.

Find out where you should caucus.

Caucus Finder:  http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

See you on Super Tuesday!

Nausheena Hussain is the Founder of Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE),  a platform to empower women in the Muslim community. She is dedicated in building a movement to address leadership development, increase community engagement, and create a philanthropic legacy for change. Nausheena graduated from the University of Minnesota cum laude in 2003 with her MBA. Married, with two young children, she lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

 

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If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

Pushing Back Vicious Political Attacks

By Jamal Abdulahi, Minnesota Civic

 

Abdulahi_Jamal_colCircleWhile the political views expressed in Scott Johnson’s essay “Islam and Minnesota: Can we hear some straight talk for a change?” are wrong and extreme in nature, the ability of Somalis to pushback forcefully and effecively is hindered by the author’s unstated premise.

The author’s premise is that Somalis are disloyal to America and politically more loyal to Somalia. This view has support in mainstream Minnesota and Somalis re-enforce it with more passion for Somalia politics.

Trying to explain attacks in the essay as part of the broader hostilities towards American Muslims is insufficient. Nor is it sufficient to cast them as general stereotypes held about immigrants.

Minnesota’s Somali political situation is unique and must be treated as such. There are set of nuances which sets a part.

Continue reading at Minnesota Civic…

Jamal Abdulahi is long time community organizer and an independent analyst based in the Twin Cities. He can be reached by via email Abdu0037@umn.edu or on Twitter @fuguni.

WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?

If you like this piece, share it on social media. We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites. We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

Acts of Kindness in the Midst of Hate and Bigotry

By Lori Saroya, Engage Minnesota

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Fifteen years ago, I attended my first presidential rally. I arrived early as a student volunteer and was happy with the spot I had secured for myself- right in front of the stage. As the venue filled up, I felt myself, and my maroon hijab, stand out in the crowd. It was the reality of being Muslim in a small town in Iowa.

As I waited for the rally to start, I noticed a young man wearing a headset pointing and motioning to me. He clearly wanted to talk. Afraid to lose my perfect spot in front of the stage, but curious to find out what he wanted, I approached him. “Will you join us on stage?” he asked. He whisked me away and directed me to my new seat before I could answer. Who would say no?

I sat directly behind a row of local elected officials, next to some community members. The stage was far more diverse than the crowd, and I knew that was the reason I was invited to sit there. I was asked to sit on stage with a presidential candidate because I’m visibly Muslim.

Fast forward to the current presidential election.

The GOP is imploding with bigotry. Presidential candidate Ben Carson said weeks ago that he would not support the United States having a Muslim president. Donald Trump’s Islamophobia and hate rhetoric is unprecedented. Trump is running the “most anti-Muslim presidential campaign in American history.” His proposals are reminiscent of horrific events led by fear and bigotry: Japanese internment camps, genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis, McCarthyism, Jim Crow and institutionalized racism against African-Americans.

As president, Trump said he would shut down mosques, create special IDs and a database for Muslims, and bar all Muslims from entering the United States. His bigotry comes with real consequences. With backlash from Paris and San Bernardino, Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims in America escalated an already hostile environment.

In the past few weeks, the American Muslim community has experienced mosque arsons, vandalism of Muslim homes, pig heads being thrown at places of worship, Muslim women shot at, Muslim store owner assaulted, harassment and verbal abuse in public places, school bullying, and other acts of hate and discrimination. Many American Muslims are feeling nervous and have legitimate concerns for their safety.

SEE: Threats and Violent Attacks Against Muslims in the U.S., Just From This Week

A Fridley, Minnesota resident shared the following: “My brother was leaving Lifetime Fitness in Fridley Saturday evening. He entered his car and was waiting for his car to get warm when a white man approached his …vehicle and tapped on his window asking my brother to lower it, presumably to speak with him. My brother complied, and the man proceeded to lift his shirt to reveal a gun and with a look of what my brother calls pure hatred, asked my brother if he was Muslim. My brother was terrified and replied that he was. Trying to diffuse the tension, my brother replied that he was just trying to go home without any problems. The man eventually walked away.”

A New York Times article, The Rise of Hate Search, featured Minnesota resident Asma Mohammed Nizami, a 23-year-old Muslim woman who wears the hijab. “Last Saturday, driving home from an event, [Nizami] stopped at a traffic light, where she saw a man in the next car over glaring at her. He rolled down his window and called her a ‘Muslim bitch.’ When Ms. Nizami started to drive away, he trailed her and then tried to run her off the road with his red Chevy Impala.”

While Trump brings out the worst in some people, we also see the best in others:

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A holiday letter from Muslim leaders in Minnesota

By Multiple authors, Star Tribune

Two faiths, one hope — for peace

To our Christian brothers and sisters:

Out of our shared love for the Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, Peace Be Upon Him, we greet you with peace and joy during your celebration of his life.

The Bible refers to him as the Messiah and describes the annunciation, his miraculous birth and his numerous miracles.

The Qur’an refers to him as the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary. It teaches about his miraculous birth and how his mother Mary was honored above all the worlds. Muslims are instructed to invoke peace upon him whenever his name is mentioned.

The Qur’an narrates the story of the angel who visited Mary, saying “O Mary, indeed God has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of all the worlds.” (Qur’an 3:42)

The angel said, “O Mary, indeed God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary. He will be honored in this world and the Hereafter and he will be among those closest to God. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and he will be of the righteous.” (Qur’an 3:44-45)

Continue reading at Star Tribune…

 

This article was submitted by Imam Asad Zaman, Muslim American Society of Minnesota; Dr. Odeh Muhawesh, Imam Hussain Islamic Center; ShaykhaTamara Gray, Rabata/Daybreak Bookstore; Dr. Tamim Saidi, Masjid Al Kareem; Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota; Dr. Shah Khan, Islamic Center of Minnesota; Dr. Onder Uluyol, Islamic Resource Group; Zafar Siddiqui, Al Amal School; Imam Sharif Mohamed, Islamic Civic Society of America — Masjid Dar Al-Hijrah, and Owais Bayunus, Islamic Center of Minnesota.

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