ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Political leaders in Minnesota are rallying in support of the local Muslim community, while Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are sharpening their words following the Brussels bombings. In a statement, Cruz said, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” PHOTOS – Brussels comes together after bombings
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton calls it the normalization of hate language.
“As part of their normal discourse, in the campaign for President of the United States, I’m just appalled,” Gov. Dayton said.
The governor’s sentiment was shared by the state’s Republican Party chair.
“It is important to oppose Donald Trump or any other proposal to combat terrorism that threatens freedom of religion,” Keith Downey said.
The denouncements fell on welcome ears.
“This is not freedom of speech where a leader, a political leader will speak to divide the people,” said Imam Mohammed Dukuly of Brooklyn Park. “This is not freedom of speech when you speak hatred against a particular segment of society."
On the floor of the Minnesota House, there was a declaration of support for Minnesota’s Muslim community.
“Muslims believe their faith is the same truth that God reveals to all of the prophets,” said Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis).
But the support still doesn’t erase the fear of retaliation that many Muslims confront after yet another terrorist attack overseas.
“As a mother I have children who attend school,” said Nausheena Hussain from Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood of Empowerment. “My daughter is in public school and yesterday when I was dropping her off I said, ‘Be vigilant.’”
Hussain said it’s all the reason why Muslim Day at the Capitol is so important to build the relationships to keep Minnesota an inclusive community.