CAIR MN unhappy with Muslims' treatment outstate, but what about Twin Cities?


Minnesota's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations drew a lot of attention the other day with it's call for the U.S. Department of Education to look into reports of increasing tension between non-Muslims and Muslims in St. Cloud and Owatonna schools.

Among the complaints: A "I hate the Somalians at Tech High" Facebook page, bacon being shoved in the faces of Muslims as a provocation by students who know Islam forbids the eating on pork, and an inflammatory essay about Somali Muslims posted by a student on an English class blog.

CAIR's civil rights director, Taneeza Islam, told us CAIR wants the DOE to investigate these incidents, and use its expertise and resources to help school administrators and teachers prevent what it calls bias-motivated behaviors.

Islam said that, so far, Muslim students in the Minneapolis and St. Paul schools have not stepped forward with the kinds of complaints her organization has heard from elsewhere in the state. She believes at least part of the reason for that is because the Twin Cities schools have more diverse and accommodating student bodies.

Besides the school issues, Muslims have been targeted for harassment in other ways outstate. In December, cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed in sexually explicit ways were posted on utility poles in St. Cloud. And earlier this week, James Scott Miller appeared in court on a felony charge of making terroristic threats. The 49-year-old Miller, of New Hope, posted his comments on Craigslist in response to an advertisement for a Somali cultural event to be held at St. Cloud State on March 20.

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