FBI Director Invited to Meet Minn. Somali CommunityInvitation to community dinner designed to open channels of communication
(ST. PAUL, MN, 2/24/09) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today invited FBI Director Robert Mueller to take part in a community dinner Wednesday at a Minneapolis mosque.
CAIR-MN is co-hosting the dinner at the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center as a way to increase understanding about the local Somali Muslim community and mosque. The Wednesday event is free and open to the public.
The invitation to Director Mueller comes in the wake of remarks he made yesterday claiming a Minnesota Muslim who allegedly carried out a suicide attack in Somalia had been “indoctrinated and radicalized” while living in Minneapolis.
SEE: Local Muslims Seek to Clear Air About Twin Cities Somalis, Militias (Star Tribune)
"We invite Director Mueller to attend the dinner and to help us build channels of communication between the FBI and the Minnesota Somali community," said CAIR-MN Communications Director Jessica Zikri. “It is through open and constructive communication that we can best defend our nation’s security and protect civil liberties.”
Dinner guests, including commanders of local police precincts, will have an opportunity to observe an Islamic prayer before enjoying Middle Eastern and African foods. Speakers' presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
CAIR-MN said the mosque has received an increasing number of hate calls and e-mails since several Somali youth left the Twin Cities area, sparking rumors they were going to Somalia to join warring militias.
The open house and dinner are sponsored by the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center, CAIR-MN and the Building Blocks of Islam.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.