Former Sheriff Bob Fletcher's Somalia seminar called "anti-Muslim"

Categories: Somalis
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.jpg
Bob Fletcher in his former post as Ramsey County sheriff.
After he lost the election for Ramsey County sheriff, Bob Fletcher declared a new passion: educating law enforcement about Somali culture and history. He dubbed the new venture the Center for Somalia History Studies, and its first event -- an educational seminar called "Understanding the People of Somalia" -- takes place on Thursday.

However, in a letter sent out to several law enforcement agencies as well as the press, members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Minnesota called the seminar "anti-Muslim and anti-Somali," and called on those agencies to withdraw from the event.

The six-hour event will be a lecture on the history of Somalia and its conflicts, terrorism, Al-Shabab, khat, youth gangs, and the Somali experience in America. In addition to Fletcher, speakers include Omar Jamal, the former head of the Somali Justice Action Center; the current director, Dahir Jibreel; and Abdirizak Bihi, the head of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy center.

fletcher somali flier.jpg
One of many components of Fletcher's flier that have raised CAIR-MN's hackles.

​The four-page letter from CAIR-MN lists many grievances with the event, including the wording of the brochure, the expertise of the speakers, and the legitimacy of the center. It points out that Jamal was convicted of immigration fraud, questions Bihi's educational background, and claims that the event does not make a distinction between terrorism and Islam.

"Your agency was misled about these presenter's qualifications and attendees will receive inaccurate and biased information about Muslims and Somalis," the letter reads. "Trainings by unqualified, agenda-driven individuals influence the way peace officers perceive and treat the American Muslim community."

The letter was also signed by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, Somali Action Alliance, and several mosques. Read the whole thing here.

Fletcher defended his seminar, saying that he hoped judgment would be withheld until after the event and he's "befuddled" that three Somali presenters could be perceived as anti-Muslim.

It remains to be seen whether any of the roughly 100 participants -- each dolling out $150 a head -- will drop out. 

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10 comments
Jim
Jim

Jessica could you please follow up on the current Sheriff' (Bostrom) association to deceased deputy Dan Ruittimann... and why Sheriff Bostrom gave him back his badge & service weapon after the previous Sheriff (Fletcher) took it away?  And the results of the Minneapolis internal affairs investigation? Did Bostrom owe him a poltical favor?

Biscut
Biscut

Bubba gonna tell us all about S'malia......haha

Johnny
Johnny

Sorry, the blistering truth isn't racist.  That is focuses on a set of known threats that themselves happen to be Muslim-inflienced isn't racist.

noodleman
noodleman

Let's be fair, then, Johnny. Let Fletcher also speak about Christian terrorists, too, and profiling them. Because there are still plenty of McVeighs and Rudolphs among us, too.

Johnny
Johnny

I have no problem with any of that as long as we also post the relevant sections of each scripture that call not only for forced conversion of infidels, but the murder of apostates (no second chances) and subjugation of women.  Be sure to list any and all repudiations of these principals by believers and the consequences they went through afterwards.

Don't forget to put it all in historical perspective without resorting to the Marxist theory of the downtrodden classes.

Fellowworker
Fellowworker

Jeremy meet me in the clothing room big boy. Bring your toy too wink wink.

Troy Blackford
Troy Blackford

We actually DON'T need to study ANY scripture. Problem solved - people like you would run out of gas.

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

Please explain your problems with "Marxist theory of the downtrodden classes." 

JoeSway
JoeSway

"remove the beam from your own eye before you..." ah, nah, screw it, so much easier to criticize someone else's religion. 

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

You really, really don't want to start an argument by claiming the Bible *isn't* full of that kind of craziness. Scripture has been used in this country to deny rights to slaves (and former slaves, etc.), women, gay people, and basically everyone else who isn't white and male.

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