MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Following Gov. Tim Walz’s announcement Saturday allowing places of worship to soon reopen, the Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MAS MN) decided they will not reopen Islamic centers and masjids in the state.

The governors decision came one day after President Trump declared religious services “essential” and called on governors across the country to reopen them this weekend.

Places of religious worship are now allowed to reopen at 25% occupancy, as long as they follow social distancing and other health guidelines, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

RELATED: Gov. Tim Walz Allows Places Of Worship To Reopen Under New Guidance From CDC

Islamic centers and masjids are places of worship, education and social services — and the MAS MN says they are critical to Muslim American identity.

“After extensive consultation with public health experts, scholars and Muslim community members, we decided that our affiliated masjids and places of worship will remain closed for the time being. This decision will remain in effect until infection rates are reliably reported to decline in Minnesota,” the MAS MN said in a release.

The MAS MN says they believe that this decision is in line with important Islamic principles, and will continue to implement online and remote services to fulfill communal needs — while limiting the possible exposure to COVID-19.

READ MORE: Some Local Religious Leaders Choose To Keep Their Places Of Worship Closed During Pandemic

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