ROCHESTER, Minn. – Authorities in Ohio are continuing to investigate whether the car and knife attack at Ohio State University on Monday was an act of terror.
Meanwhile, Somali and Muslim community leaders nationwide have been quick to condemn the attack. That includes the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
The executive director of CAIR-MN, Jaylani Hussein, said in a statement, “We must not let the act of one individual, no matter what his motive or background, further divide our community or our nation.”
Also speaking out is Abdi Roble, a Rochester man who wanted to speak to us on behalf of the local Somali and Muslim communities to condemn the stabbings. Roble says, much like in the wake of the St. Cloud mall attack, there are heightened concerns among the local Somali and Muslim communities that there will be backlash. He too encourages people not to label a whole community or religion based on the actions of one.
“There’s what happened in St. Cloud, there’s this one, people are going to finger point at you,” explains Roble.
He says it’s important now more than ever for everyone to make efforts to reach out and get to know their neighbors.
“Within the community internally, we need to do a little bit more outreach to students to youth to talk to them,” he adds.
Minnesota is home to the nation’s largest Somali community — around 57,000 call the state home.