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CAIR-MN Holds Town Hall Meeting on Hate Crimes


(ST. CLOUD, MN, 7/10/07) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) recently held a town hall meeting to address hate crimes and the St. Cloud Muslim community’s concerns about safety.

CAIR-MN’s July 7th event was designed to educate the community about the contributing factors and consequences of hate crimes. It was held in response to a June incident in which a Muslim man was called a “Muslim terrorist” and attacked after leaving the Islamic Center of St. Cloud.

“There is a greater need than ever to educate our community about what is going on in their neighborhoods and around the nation,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Omar Merhi. “The hate crime that took place in St. Cloud is not an isolated incident. It is part of a growing pattern of Islamophobia nationwide.”

The St. Cloud Islamic Center and neighboring churches are planning to hold a joint forum to address hate crimes later this month. CAIR-MN will participate in that forum.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 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.

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Omar Merhi, E-Mail:, 612-702-0590; CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley, Tel: 763-226-5866; E-Mail:; CAIR-MN Board Chair Lori Saroya, E-Mail:


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