A veteran conservative activist says it's appalling that an American mayor is wooing Muslims in a city known for producing Islamic jihadists.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges (pictured above) delivered her May 23 "State of the City" address in a mosque, where she claimed she was defending the city's Muslim population from President Donald Trump and his administration.
Trump's agenda of "oppression and regression and suppression" has no place in Minneapolis, where Muslims will be protected from Trump, she said at the Masid An-Nur mosque a day after a British-born jihadist killed 22 in Manchester at a concert.
Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families says Hodges deserves a "lunacy award" for her mosque speech, and he calls it a strange gesture to reassure the Muslim community about Trump.
"It would seem to me," says Bauer, "that the first thing an elected official would want to do is to reassure all Americans, including Muslims, that they will take all steps necessary to protect them from these Islamist terrorists."
Hodges, who is seeking re-election, removed her shoes and stood before a sign declaring that "There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is His messenger."
Minneapolis is home to the largest population of Somalis in the U.S. and it's not right-wing hysteria to suggest the city is a hot bed of Islamic fanaticism. An April New York Times story about Islamic terror in the United States reported at the time that nine convictions and four pending trials in Minneapolis put the state of 5.5 million second behind only 19.9-million New York state.
Nine of the 13 convictions or arrests occurred in Minneapolis, home to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood known as "Little Mogadishu."
More recently, two Somali-American brothers were arrested May 11 with bomb-making material, a hand grenade, an AK-47 rifle, and a handgun. They were discovered only after they threatened a senior citizen who saw them littering and complained.
It's obvious, says Bauer, that there's a problem within the Somali community, where people have been recruited to fight for ISIS and for the Al Shababb terrorist group in Somalia.
"And so it seems to be the height of irresponsibility," he observes. "for the mayor of the city to spend more time basically singing the political equivalent of 'Kumbaya,' without asking the cooperation very publicly from the Somali-American community there, in the fight against terror."