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“None of you are prepared for this,” Branstner tells them. But in a community settled largely by German Catholics, Branstner draws a steady stream of residents struggling to understand their new Somali neighbors.
Ringsmuth said she regularly hears of people yelling “Speak English,” or “Get out of our country! In an effort to address concerns about the rise of Islamaphobia in Minnesota, the Minneapolis law firm Dorsey & Whitney last week hosted a panel discussion on the issue.
Attendees included former Vice President Walter Mondale and members of the legal community, including U. Attorney Andrew Luger, who said that, left unchecked, “Islamaphobia is going to destroy the social fabric of the state.” Fiery speech A few minutes before delivering his speech on a late winter night at a restaurant in Avon, Branstner greets his audience as it trickles in.
A Minnesota man has since been charged in the attack.
“A lot of these fears are coming from that type of general fear of the ‘other,’ and not real knowledge of Islam,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of CAIR.
A Minnesota vanity license plate that displayed profanity directed at Muslims was seen in the city and photographed, with the photo circulated on social media.