Minnesota’s faithful plan event to counter uptick in anti-Muslim rhetoric


Some of Minnesota’s largest faith organizations are planning an event to counter a recent rise in anti-Muslim sentiment following controversy over a planned Muslim community center in New York City and threats of Koran-burnings by fundamentalist Christians. The event will feature former Gov. Al Quie and includes Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations. The Sept. 28 event, to be held in Minneapolis, is called Minnesotans Standing Together: A Multi-faith Prayer Service for Respect

Rabbi David Locketz, president of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, told Divinity and Beyond, a Minnesota blog about religion, “The religious communities in Minnesota are joining together to prevent the kind of fear and bigotry that we’ve seen in the news the past few weeks.”

The inclusion of Quie has caused some controversy, however, because of his opposition to rights for LGBT Minnesotans.

“Al Quie has uttered some of the worst stereotyping of gays and lesbian persons that I’ve ever heard in a public setting,” David Weiss of St. Paul, told Divinity. “It’s hurtful to people. It’s saddens me that he’s been chosen to be the voice of inclusion for this service, when he’s been someone who has used his voice for exclusion.”

The organizations participating in the event include:

The Minnesota Council of Churches, The Saint Paul Interfaith Network, Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, The Downtown Interfaith Clergy Association, The Islamic Resource Group, The Muslim Christian Dialogue Center at the University of St. Thomas, The Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, The Interfaith Youth Leadership Council. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, The Archdiocesan Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, The Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning Interfaith Bridging Initiative, Minnesota Rabbinical Association, Masjid Al-Ikhlas, Masjid Dar Al Hijrah, Muslim American Society of Minnesota, and United Theological Society of the Twin Cities.