A group of self-identified “Muslim constituents” are demanding a meeting with Rep.-elect Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01) to discuss the alleged “anti-Muslim statements” he made on the campaign trail.
A new petition, which has close to 400 signatures, accuses Hagedorn of making “many statements” on his campaign website that “use fear-mongering tactics against the Minnesota Muslim community.”
In particular, the petition takes issue with Hagedorn’s claim that “Minnesota has a terrorist recruiting problem from East African refugees brought into the United States under the current immigration and screening process.”
“You have also referred to Minnesota Muslims as ‘Islamic supremacists.’ These statements are problematic because they portray all Somalis, indeed all Muslims, living in Minnesota as potential terrorists and threats to our safety,” the petition states. “We are not terrorists. We are your constituents.”
The petition points to an “Islamic terrorism/Refugee policy” section on Hagedorn’s campaign website where he discusses the threat posed by terrorism recruitment in the Twin Cities, and criticizes the First District’s former congressman, Gov.-elect Tim Walz, for being too “politically correct and naive” to address the issue.
A report from earlier this year identified Minnesota, Virginia, and Ohio as “the three states with the highest proportional rates of recruitment,” The Star Tribune reported.
That report, conducted by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, also found that Minnesota was the state “with the largest frequency of jihadist travelers.”
“The areas with the highest frequency of travelers are the Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Diego metropolitan areas, which have seven cases each. The Twin Cities also have the highest proportion of travelers to every 1,000 Muslims in the broader metropolitan statistical area,” the report adds.
The report also cites a U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee report, which “found that more than one-quarter of successful and unsuccessful U.S. travelers came from Minnesota.”
“The Minnesotan contingent in Syria and Iraq is well-documented,” the report states, noting Minnesota’s involvement in the nation’s largest terror recruitment probe.
But some of Hagedorn’s constituents are suggesting that his “use of misconceptions and stereotypes on Islam have potentially harmful consequences for all of southern Minnesota.”
“Perpetrating false information of an entire group of Minnesotans conjures fear, hatred, and even acts of violence such as the bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington in August of 2017,” the petition states. “Far too often opinions of Islam and Muslims are sought from those whom are openly against the religion.”
The petition concludes by calling on Hagedorn to meet with his Muslim constituents so he can “hear directly from the Muslim community you represent.”
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