Muslim Day at Capitol addresses concerns and furthers representation

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Over 200 people attended the 13th annual Muslim Day March 29 at the Minnesota State Capitol. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)

Over 200 people attended the 13th annual Muslim Day March 29 at the Minnesota State Capitol. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)

More than 200 people came together March 29 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul for the 13th annual Muslim Day, to connect with representatives and speak on issues concerning the community.

Muslims and non-Muslims who attended said this year’s event was different than previous years. Representatives received concerns on Islamophobia, bigotry and hate crimes in addition to topics like health care, the economy and education.

Governor Mark Dayton spoke at the event about the Minnesota hate crimes and bigotry that have occurred in St. Cloud after desecration of a pharmacy, the destruction of a childcare center in Shakopee and anti-Muslim speech made by a Colombia Heights School board member.

“This is not Minnesota, we are better than this,” he said. “Those who practice hatred, discrimination or any other form of bigotry are not welcomed.”

Dayton urged Minnesotans, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together and represent the state together.

“It’s important that we are gathered here today at our state’s capitol,” Dayton told the crowd. “A gathering place for all Minnesotans to reaffirm that we are all Minnesotans. We are all Americans and that we all have equal rights to our country’s promise of the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Khalil Houri, of the Northwest Islamic Community Center in Plymouth, expressed his concerns on safety to his representative, as hate crimes against Muslims increase nationwide.

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