MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 14, 2013) — Interfaith leaders and community members will gather for a community dialogue on “Tolerance and the Fear of Islam” on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m., at St. Francis Hall, Franciscan Center, 116 8th Avenue SE, Little Falls, MN 56345.
The event was organized after community leaders and activists considered the negative impact a speech by an anti-Muslim speaker had in the community earlier this year. On July 29, 2013, the Central Minnesota Tea Party featured anti-Muslim speaker Brigitte Gabriel from the hate group ACT! For America in Little Falls.
The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Gabriel claims an American Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen” and that Islam is the “real enemy.” She once told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” She also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word. . .it’s the vehicle for Islam. . .Islam is the problem.”
“Many individuals in the community have never met a Muslim in person and that allows fear to grow,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow. “This event seeks to promote a positive discussion around tolerance, respect and community. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best- ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.’”
Event speakers include:
• Saly Abd Alla, CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director
• Jaylani Hussein CAIR-MN Outreach & Advocacy Director
• Ian Norwood Little Falls High School Student
• Father Virgil Petermeier, St. Cloud Muslim-Christian Dialogue
• Moderated by Jeff Odendahl, Franciscan Center
The New York Times stated: “[Gabriel] presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion.”
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.
Event sponsors include the Little Falls Partners for Peace, Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace, Building Blocks of Islam, and the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
For information contact CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow at 612-327-6700, or [email protected]