Best of Neighborhood News 10/16: “Know-Your-ICE-Rights” placards to be placed on MPD cars

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is implementing policy which requires all Minneapolis Police Department squad cars to carry newly made placards which inform potential immigrant detainees of their rights. The cards are written in English and Spanish and note one’s rights not to inform police of their birth country, immigration status or citizenship status. This policy comes at the reluctance of the Minneapolis police officers union; Lt. Bob Kroll said, “We’re all for immigration, but if people are here illegally they aren’t subject to our rights.”

In regards to his decision to implement the placards, Mayor Frey said, “Our immigrant community is a huge part of what makes Minneapolis an amazing city. And as mayor, I have an obligation to do everything I can to make sure their talents and their contributions stay right here in Minneapolis.”

Read more at The Downtown Journal. Facebook as a tool for English language learning

Three instructors at the University of Minnesota, Jenifer Vandek, Kendall King, and Martha Bigelow, who all specialize in second language acquisition, recently published a report on how using the social media platform Facebook can offer immigrant students a more accessible  medium for learning. Continue Reading

Minnesota imam looks at ‘caliphate’ through Islamic lens

Any time a militant organization rises with violent acts in the name of Islam, some Muslim leaders grow vocal in denouncing radicalization as they distance their faith from terrorism. Often times, some of these religious leaders seem to condemn certain actions or groups because the society expects them to do so — or because they’re concerned that critics might put them in the spotlight for their silence.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | Faran Rabbani: My letter to President Obama

As part of this great nation’s foreign policy, when injustice takes place in any part of the world, America usually takes a stand. We saw this in the case of Russian atrocities in Ukraine, in America’s unity with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). However when it comes to Palestine, America turns a blind eye with the EU and the UN. Our government must condemn Israel’s human rights violations. The concept of justice necessitates equal treatment in condemning injustices carried by whoever and wherever, even if the transgressor happens to be an ally. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Somali American story muddled by Power Line blog

I was browsing around Google News Search when I stumbled on a unique news piece by the Star Tribune talking about a Somali American woman in Willmar, Minnesota, regarding the reunification with her husband who is in Kenya: the news piece is entitled Somali Woman Living in Willmar Can’t Get Her Husband into US .  This piece by Star Tribune was reacted to by Power Line (blog) with a meretricious piece entitled The Somali Muddle, Once More Once, written by Scott Johnson, tagged immigration, Islam, Minnesota, in which the story by the Star Tribune of the Somali American Woman was distorted. In the piece, Scott Johnson wrote  the following:Today’s Star Tribune features a formulaic story by Randy Furst from the usual heart-tugging angle: “Somali woman living in Willmar can’t get her husband into U.S.” Deep into the story a small dose of reality is permitted to intrude:Then Scott Johnson copied and pasted from the Star Tribune piece the following:A State Department spokeswoman said that “most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview, but the timing can vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.”She said that Somalis are treated the same as applicants from other countries, and more than 1,000 visas were issued to Somalis in the 2013 federal ­fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30.“At the same time, we must ensure that applicants do not pose a security risk to the United States and otherwise are eligible for a visa” she said in an e-mail. “Applicants sometimes require additional screening to determine whether they are eligible.”Federal authorities have been concerned about possible links between Somali immigrants to the United States and Al-Shabab, a group that has recruited young Somali men to fight in the Somali civil war. Continue Reading

“Preaching peace” at Somali mosque

The February 25 open house at the Somali Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center was intended to invite the surrounding community in, but it also gave members of the mosque and greater Somali community an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns about the way their place of worship and the Somali diaspora are seen by the local media and greater community. “It seems the media only focuses on the negative perspective of the Somali community,” Aqiya Mohamed, a University of Minnesota and mosque member said. “They tend to focus on more of the dramatic or more of the interesting news.”
Mohamed said that instead of focusing on only the “newsworthy” stories, the media should show the greater community all aspects of the Somali Diaspora. The Abubakar mosque has been under increased scrutiny in the past few months, after the news broke that several Somali men from Minneapolis who returned to Somalia to fight in the country’s civil war attended the mosque. Abdirahman Ahmed, the Imam of the mosque, said the open house was an attempt at transparency and to show the mosque had a place in the greater community. Continue Reading

Minnesota judicial races: Evangelical Supreme Court candidate tells anti-Muslim correspondent ‘We speak the same language’

Deborah Hedlund, a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, received an anti-Muslim email from a campaign vendor, Matt Look, that said, “Can Muslims Be Good Americans?” the Pioneer Press reports. The email continued, “Perhaps we should be suspicious of all Muslims in this country. They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and good Americans. … And Barack Hussein Obama, a Muslim, wants to be our President? You have GOT to be kidding! Continue Reading

“Raw capitalism is dead”—and Muslims have a solution

by Elias Karmi • 10/16/08 • It was just a few weeks ago that U.S. treasury secretary Henry Paulson declared raw capitalism’s death. And if I might add: Thank God someone realizes the futility of our current financial system. Two problems here: 1) it may be too late, and 2) even if we recover, the true solution may never be practiced.

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