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Mpls. Mosque Opens Doors, Fights Radical Thinking

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis mosque is opening its doors to connect with its neighbors after some recent terrorist attacks, responding to concerns about radicalized youths.

The news from Oregon about a Somali national’s alleged attempt to detonate a bomb has the community working harder to connect with both its youth and the mainstream community.

On Wednesday, they want to show the Somali and Muslim community are open and want collaboration to help combat ignorance and promote unity.

“We don’t want the actions of people who are misguided to be connected to the mosque,” said Abdisalam Adam with the Islamic League of Somali Scholars in America.

It’s an effort to let non-Muslim’s know the mosque has nothing to do with radical thinking. Also, it is meant to let people know this mosque is not just for prayer.

“We do counseling, we do youth programs, we do educational, we do screening health, we do a variety of programs that the community needs,” said Dar al-Hijrah director Abdi Kadir.

Kadir says working with young people and making sure they have the tools necessary to succeed is the goal of this Islamic center.

The mosque set up a monthly newsletter, which lets young people express their thoughts. The hope is that young people will become more comfortable with their new homeland and not attracted to rhetoric that leads to bad decisions.

“We’ve seen examples of youth who have lost their futures so that too shall serve as a warning sight that they don’t have to go that route, ” said Adam.

Adam says the journey to fight extremism is a journey the entire community, Muslim and non-Muslim, should take together.

There will be Somali cuisine to experience and entertainment to take part in during this open house.

Across town, at the Safari restaurant, a town hall meeting will be held to discuss the Oregon incident and peaceful co-existence.

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

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