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CAIR-MN eNewsletter

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VIDEO: 2013 MN Philanthropy Partners 'Nonprofit to Know'
VIDEO: 2013 MN Philanthropy Partners 'Nonprofit to Know'



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Minnesota Somali-American Community Condemns Threat to Mall of America 
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/23/15) -The Minnesota Somali-American community today condemned "in the strongest possible terms" a threat by the Al Shabaab terror group against the Mall of America (MOA).

In a joint statement, leaders of the Minnesota Somali/Muslim community said:

"The safety and security of Minnesotans and of all Americans is of utmost importance to Somali-Americans. We condemn all forms of terrorism or threats of terrorism, repudiate any individual or group that would carry out such attacks or make such threats and remain committed to being at the forefront of defeating religious or political extremism.

"While remaining vigilant, we must not allow a terror group to achieve its goal of spreading fear or panic. We must also prevent justifiable security concerns from being used as a pretext to promote hatred, prejudice and suspicion of the whole community.
"As a nation, we are better prepared and more united when we all work together to keep our communities safe."

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein 612-406-0070,; Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota Executive Director, Mohamuud Noor , 612-250-9660,

CAIR-MN will be hosting a FREE Brief Advice Legal Clinic at the Dakota County Northern Service Center on February 24 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

If you are an attorney, paralegal or law student and interested in volunteering, please contact Ellen Longfellow at 612.206.3360 or email 

Helping the community advocate for themselves

CAIR-MN's Civil Rights Department counsels, mediates and advocates on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination in the workplace. The department works to protect and defend the constitutional rights of American Muslims, and also empower Muslim employees to advocate for their rights at work whether it's asking for a prayer accommodation, break time to coincide with the sunset prayer or including hijab as part of the uniform policy. 

Last month, our team worked in helping a Muslim employee request a grooming policy accommodation for his sincerely held belief of having a beard. After discussions with Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow, the individual drafted a letter with the request and sent it to the human resources department of his company. 

The accommodation was immediately granted and the policy was updated to reflect the changes for future employees. 

"SUCCESS! Thank you so so much for your help! I will call you guys soon to give you all details! A big thanks from me and God bless CAIR!"

We will be turning this letter into a template for others to use when requesting accommodations. 

If you are faced with discrimination or need help in requesting an accommodation, please contact CAIR-MN at 612.206.3360 or 



CAIR-MN is an official recruitment partner for bushCON

bushCONNECT - or bushCON for short - is a leadership networking event designed to build stronger and more meaningful connections between leaders in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.


CAIR-MN officially invites you to bushCONNECT!

At bushCON, you'll connect with people you might not otherwise meet, spark a new idea, step out of your comfort zone, and challenge the way you approach your work.


The day includes inspiring and creative speakers, intimate conversations with community leaders, interactive and engaging sessions, unique networking activities, and lots of ways to connect with people and have some fun, too.

To learn more about bushCON, visit  


CAIR-MN is gathering a cohort of leaders and providing full to partial scholarships. If you would like to be part of the cohort, please contact us at 612.206.3360 or email 


We hope you're able to join our cohort at bushCON 2015!



Thank You for Making the Gala a Success!

On February 8, CAIR-MN hosted the 2015 CAIR-MN Civil Rights Benefit Gala for the second time. It was a success! Over 200 community members, supporters, leaders and friends came out to enjoy the evening. 

Guests had a chance to get their pictures taken on the red carpet.

The event was emceed by Dr. Muhamad Elrishidy, followed by Quran recitation by Mus'ab Hussaini. Executive Director Jaylani Hussein who gave a warm welcome to the community. 

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges made a special appearance and acknowledged the important work CAIR-MN does in her city. 

Eight talented artists from the Twin Cities community performed and mesmerized the crowd. 

Adnan Shati also amazed the crowd with his live art. 

Many local artists donated to the art sale.

Great food provided by India Cafe, Wally's, Cairo Grill, and NY Gyro made the evening even more enjoyable. 

The evening ended with a keynote speech by Joshua Salaam of Native Deen. 

Thank you for joining us at the Gala and letting art tell the story of civil rights and racial justice! 




Video: CAIR-MN Concerned CVE Program is a Cover for Spying on Muslims
Video: CAIR-MN Concerned CVE Program is a Cover for Spying on Muslims

Last Tuesday, February 17, MN Muslims and Somali leaders held a press conference to raise concerns about what they say will be the "stigmatizing and ineffective" Department of Justice Countering Violent Extremism pilot program, which was the subject of a White House summit on Wednesday, February 18.

Representatives from Minnesota mosques and Muslim organizations were present, including the largest Somali mosques and organizations in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

At the news conference, the leaders outlined several recommendations at the press conference, including detaching the CVE program from the DOJ, FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Counterterrorism Center, and other law enforcement agencies.

"Constitutional rights are the cornerstone of our society and must not be suspended or limited for any Americans," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "Allowing the federal criminal prosecutor and law enforcement agencies to engage in social services and organize mentorship and after-school programs only in the Muslim community is unprecedented. It blurs the line between community outreach and intelligence gathering."

Hussein said that American Muslims, like all Americans, condemn terrorism and terrorist organizations: "Any action that harms innocent civilians is reprehensible and deserves condemnation. CAIR condemns terrorism whenever it happens, wherever it happens and whoever commits it."



The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota (CAIR-MN) is the state's only Muslim civil rights and legal 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.


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