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CAIR-MN Seeks Hate Crime Probe of Assault on North Dakota Muslim
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 7/3/2017) - - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged assault on a North Dakota Muslim as a possible hate crime.
CAIR said two men were arrested after reportedly beating the Somali-American Muslim victim early Sunday morning in Fargo, N.D. Police say three Muslim men were in a parking lot while moving into a nearby building when they were approached by two men unknown to them.
The suspected assailants, James Patrick Billiot, 32, and Justin William Rifanburg, 28, allegedly made derogatory remarks -- including reportedly shouting “f**king n**gers” -- before assaulting the Muslim victim, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
SEE: 2 Arrested After Fight in South Fargo Early Sunday
“Given the reported bias-motivated slurs used during the alleged assault, we ask local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.
Hussein said CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 election. The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.
CAIR-MN 'Disappointed' with Verdict in Philando Castile Police Shooting Case
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/16/2017) - - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) expresses disappointment with verdict of Castile case.
Almost a year ago, Philando Castile was killed in his car by Officer Geronimo Yanez. Today, after a week-long deliberation, the jury in officer Yanez's trial returned a verdict of not guilty on the charges of manslaughter and two weapons charges.
"We are disappointed with today's verdict and the message it sends to minority communities in Minnesota and nationwide," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "We hope this sad day may serve as a catalyst for change in our society. We must all redouble our efforts to achieve reform of the system that results in such tragedies."
"We extend our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Castile's family, to his fiancé Diamond Reynolds and his mother Valerie. Ms. Reynolds showed incredible bravery and composure during the incident, recording the aftermath of the shooting for the world to see, shining a light on the egregious injustice and in recounting the events in court. Valerie Castile has likewise acted as a pillar of strength throughout the trial, and offered messages of hope and calm to the entire community".
CAIR-MN Welcomes 39-Year Sentence for Man Who Attempted to Murder Somalis
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/12/2017) - - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a 39-year prison sentence for Anthony Sawina, who last year shot at five Somali-American men in a car on their way to prayers, injuring two.
See: Man gets 39 years for attempted murder of 2 Somali men
"Minnesota's Muslim community welcomes the sentencing of Anthony Sawina for the attempted murder of two Somali youth," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "As hate crimes targeting Muslims increase in our state, Minnesotans must all stand together against every one of these horrifying acts born of hatred and targeting innocent people."
Hussein added, "today we are witnessing both the rise of sophisticated and organized anti-Muslim groups like ACT for America, as well as the sudden and impetuous assaults on Muslims growing all too common in our communities."
CAIR-MN Calls for Probe of School Officers' 'Excessive Force' After Muslim Student Called 'F**king Terrorist'
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/3/2017) -- The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called for an investigation into the alleged use of excessive force by a security officer and resource officer at a high school in that state.
On Thursday June 1, a female Muslim student at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minn., was reportedly verbally harassed by a male student and called an 'f**king terrorist." The school security guard, who was first on the scene, allegedly used physical force against the Muslim student. The schools' police officer later arrested the Muslim student.
In the process of her arrest, the student's hijab (head covering) was removed. She was taken to the Apple Valley Police Department, questioned and released.
On Friday, school officials met with the family of the student and informed them that she is suspended until the end of the school year.
CAIR-MN reports that it has received complaints from a dozen Muslim students at Apple Valley High School who feel unsafe due to this and other unreported incidents involving the same officer.
"We are concerned about the apparent use of excessive force in this incident and about the suspension of the Muslim student, who appears to have been a victim of bullying," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "We are also concerned about the growing number of Muslim students who report feeling unsafe because of how this incident was handled by the school officers."
Hussein added that CAIR-MN has reached out to the school principal and are in talks about the incident.
CAIR-Minnesota (CAIR-MN) Today Sues UPS, Staffing Company for Firing Muslim Workers Over Prayer
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/1/2017) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today announced the filing of a lawsuit in state court against UPS Mail Innovations and Doherty Staffing Solutions for firing multiple Muslim employees who wanted to pray during their break times after previously having allowed them to pray.
The plaintiffs stated that there had been no problem with them using their break time to pray until a new UPS operations manager was hired. He then terminated employees who wanted to pray.