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CAIR-MN Welcomes Conviction in Islamophobic Shooting of Somali-American Muslims

screenshot 2017 05 12 17 07 36(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 5/13/17) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a conviction for the bias-motivated attempted murder of Somali-American Muslim men last year.

Anthony Sawina, 26, was found guilty of nine felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder.

SEE: Lauderdale Man Convicted of Shooting, Injuring 2 Somali-Americans Last Summer

In a statement welcoming the jury’s decision, CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said: “We appreciate the jury’s understanding of the egregious harm done by Mr. Sawina to the men he tried to murder and to the Twin Cities Muslim community as a whole.”

Background on the Case:

On June 29, 2016, five Somali men in Dinkytown were on the way to a mosque for prayers when they were insulted by a member of a group leaving Library Bar. As the five Somali men were attempting to leave in their car, one of the bar patrons said, “(Expletive) Muslims.” Words were exchanged and Sawina drew a handgun and pointed it at the car. During the trial, several of the victims testified that they heard Sawina say, “I’m going to kill you all.”

SEE: Man, 26, Charged With Shooting at 5 Somali Men Heading to Ramadan Prayers

Shooting of Muslim Men Will Be Investigated as Possible Hate Crime

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and 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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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-206-3360,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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