Twin Cities Somalis condemn violence overseas, seek outreach - KMSP-TV

Metro Somalis condemn violence overseas, seek outreach

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Many Somalis in the Twin Cities say they condemn the violence that has broken out in recent days, and they are now trying to educate the community about Islam and how the embassy attack in Africa casts undue shadow on their faith.

In the past week, images of violence have poured out of television screens across the world as Muslims expressed their outrage over a YouTube video depicting the prophet Mohamed as a fraud and sex addict. Across Africa and the Middle East, screaming crowds gathered outside embassies -- but here in the Twin Cities, Muslim say those actions don't reflect their community or their faith.

"A lot of people in the Muslim community have to understand that when you get hurt and when your friends are hurt, there are other ways to go about it rather than rioting or creating chaos and killing innocent people," Mohamed Adani.

As Muslims, they certainly do condemn the video itself, but they also condemn the violence it sparked. Somali leaders say they believe they must talk about it, which is why they set up a forum at the Safari Restaurant.

"I felt I haven't done my job very well, I haven't done my job to the community -- so that's why I'm stepping up to the community and tell this, that it is not according to Islam," said Abdirahman Ahmed, owner of the restaurant, about the violence. "People are misguided. They are not educated enough, and -- as I said -- they have another motive."

Muslims in the Twin Cities say they do not share the motivation to find wedges that drive everyone apart.

"The reality is that we all live on this big ball of mud," said Jumal Lewis. "I think that if we start thinking less about us and them and start thinking about it, it's really a big ball of mud and you can't go too far. It's really just us."

Those in the Somali community certainly have other issues they need to talk about as well. Omar Jamal, the first secretary of the Somali Republic to the United States, told FOX 9 News he has confirmed a handful more youths in the local Somali community have left the Twin Cities to join radical organizations in Somalia.

Jamal will be in the Twin Cities tomorrow to discuss those new cases, and FOX 9 News will have more information on FOX @ 5.

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