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Minnesota Dept of Human Rights, FBI and Police Join CAIR

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CAIR's founder and executive director Nihad Awad (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
CAIR’s founder and executive director Nihad Awad (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

On Sept. 18, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is holding a panel called “Dismantling Hate Crimes” alongside CAIR (The Council on American Islamic Relations). CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein will be there, sharing the panel with FBI Supervisory Special Agent Michael Melcher and St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson.

Jaylani Hussein was recorded in 2017 refusing to condemn the terrorist organization Hamas. Hussein operates a CAIR chapter which includes members who have openly lamented that Hitler wasn’t alive to “add more casualties” to the Holocaust.

The FBI formally cut ties with CAIR in 2009 because of its role as an unindicted co-conspirator in the nation’s largest terrorism financing trial, and CAIR is considered a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates.

Just last week, the U.S. Census Bureau cancelled its planned partnership with CAIR after experiencing a public backlash. Many activists and leaders from Minnesota’s robust Somali-American community have openly defied CAIR for claiming to speak on their behalf, and some have spoken out against CAIR for telling local Somalis to stop cooperating with the FBI.

What can the average citizen do? First, we can write letters and make calls (see below).  However, the duty also falls on our law enforcement to be:

  1. Well versed in the landscape of oppression. What does oppression look like and against whom? Just because a group is brown doesn’t mean they’re not doing the oppressing as well. It doesn’t mean they’re not engaging in psychologically violent hate campaigns against members of their own community.In this case, they are and they do.
  2. The other question law enforcement needs to ask is: What is the full profile and intent of the individuals and groups they’re partnering with?

When we have a crisis of trust in law enforcement, it becomes that much more imperative for departments and agents to be fully briefed on who they’re allying with.

MAKE A CALL

Thank you to our colleagues at Middle East Forum for collecting the following contact information and template letter for members of the public to reach out to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the St. Cloud Police, and the FBI’s Minnesota office.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson
Phone: 320-345-4201
FBI Supervisory Agent Michael Melcher
Phone: 763-569-8360
Minnesota Department of Human Rights 
Office Phone: 320-407-8288
Enforcement Officer Heidi Hovis — Phone: 320-407-8286
Communications Specialist Jonathan Wong — Phone: 320-407-8285
Office Email: [email protected]
St. Cloud Police Commander of Community Engagement James Steve
Phone: 320-345-4401
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis
Phone: 320-255-7201
FBI-Minnesota Office
Phone: 763-569-8000
FBI-St. Cloud Office
Phone: 320-251-9394

WRITE A LETTER

Contact the local FBI office and St. Cloud police to ask them to make their participation on the panel contingent upon CAIR’s exclusion. Feel free to use the following letter:
Hello! My name is ______ and I represent ______. I am calling/writing to express my disappointment after hearing that a representative from [the FBI and/or the St. Cloud Police Department] will be sitting on the “Dismantling Hate Crimes” panel with a member of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The FBI formally cut ties with CAIR in 2009 because of its role as an unindicted co-conspirator in the nation’s largest terrorism financing trial, and CAIR is considered a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates. Just last week, the U.S. Census Bureau cancelled its planned partnership with CAIR after experiencing a public backlash. Many activists and leaders from Minnesota’s robust Somali-American community have openly defied CAIR for claiming to speak on their behalf, and some have spoken out against CAIR for telling local Somalis to stop cooperating with the FBI.
[Chief Blair Anderson and/or Special Agent Michael Melcher] will share the panel with CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, who was recorded in 2017 refusing to condemn the terrorist organization Hamas. Hussein operates a CAIR chapter which includes members who have openly lamented that Hitler wasn’t alive to “add more casualties” to the Holocaust.
We are asking you to take bold action. Tell the Minnesota Department of Human Rights that [the St. Cloud Police/FBI] will not be attending its September 18 panel unless CAIR is excluded.
Thank you for your time and attention, and we will follow up later in the week to hear your decision.

 

 

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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.

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