On Saturday, June 13, representatives of more than a dozen Twin Cities Somali civil, religious and political organizations held a rally demonstrating their support for Minnesota's only Muslim civil rights organization, the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
SEE: Demonstrators Support Area Muslim Group (Star Tribune)
Representatives from local Somali organizations voiced their support of the work CAIR-MN has done in the Somali community and addressed the importance of civil rights education for all Americans. The coalition gathered to represent the collective voice of the Twin Cities Somali population, estimated to be between 70,000 and 80,000.
"CAIR has been the only organization to come into the Muslim community, the Somali community, to help them understand their civil rights," said Somali Community Link Radio Host Zuhur Ahmed. "They've been here educating us about our rights as Americans since long before any men left for Somalia." Ahmed added that, in addition to know your rights trainings, CAIR-MN has been promoting cooperation with law enforcement.
The group also stressed that Somalis are not represented by one or two media-seeking individuals who refer to themselves as activists.
"We're here from dozens of active organizations working with the people on the issues important to Somalis," said United Somali Movement Vice President Aman Obsiye. "We represent the true voice of the tens of thousands of Somalis living in the Twin Cities."
Organizations co-sponsoring the event included: United Somali Movement; Somali Youth Network Council (SYNC); Somali Youth Action of Minnesota; Somali Action Alliance; United Somali Diaspora; Somali Leadership Council; Somali American Community; World Peace Organization; Muslim Student Association, Augsburg College Chapter; Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center (AAIC); Islamic Dawah Institute; Karmel Plaza Business Association
CONTACT: United Somali Movement Public Relations Director Sharmarke Jama, Tel: (612) 483-9878, E-mail: email@example.com; Abubakar Islamic Center Executive Director Omar (Farhan) Hurre, Tel: (612) 607-9187, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org