Death by a thousand paper cuts. Or as a Catholic leader in Italy recently more aptly stated, ‘We will all be Muslim because of our stupidity’ and the ‘WEAK’ church.
Jaylani Hussein knew the cramped Minneapolis office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations wasn’t big enough to hold the growing staff much longer.
But it was the threats, hate-filled letters and menacing phone calls directed at the organization that sent him in search of something more than extra square footage.
That extra is infiltrating non-Muslim houses of worship. A search of Google maps shows nearly a dozen mosques, masjids and Islamic associations within blocks of the church.
CAIR held an open house last week to celebrate its new office in Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood, a location that offers more space, is closer to clients and, CAIR staff members hope, serves as a sanctuary.
The alliance comes amid heightened fear and uncertainty for local Muslims, as hate crimes against them rise. On Friday, President Donald Trump issued an order temporarily barring refugees from entering the country. Officials with the civil rights organization and the church hope they can work together to undercut discrimination.
Dianne Holte, president of the Bethany Lutheran Church Council said the group voted unanimously in support of leasing the space to CAIR and building an interfaith partnership. Discussion about partnering with CAIR started last spring, with the Augsburg College Campus Ministry helping make the connection.
“We are honored to have them house their offices within our walls,” Holte said.
But will Muslims feel comfortable going into a Lutheran church?
Yes, said Sheikh Hassan Jama, executive director of the Minneapolis-based Islamic Association of North America. He pointed out that many Muslim refugees have resettled in the United States with the help of churches.
“Culturally and religiously, I don’t see a conflict. …” Jama said. “This is a good location and it’s convenient for everyone.”
That any church would welcome the notorious, terror-linked, terror-listed, FBI-banned, unindicted co-conspirator to the largest terror financing conviction in U.S. history is beyond comprehension. Even a federal judge ruled that CAIR is HAMAS.