Muslim rights group calling on Waite Park to reject training

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, March 5, 2013

WAITE PARK — A Muslim rights group is calling on police in Waite Park to reject a training program about Somalis.

The program “Understanding the People of Somalia” will be held today. According to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the event flier lists Somalia’s al-Shabaab as an “Islamic” organization.

The U.S. Department of State designated al-Shabaab a terrorist group in 2008. CAIR-MN spokeswoman Lori Saroya said the training flier unfairly suggests the activities of al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, are supported by most Muslims.

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Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud said he doesn’t expect any officers to attend the training.

He says the city is hosting the event for Catholic Charities workers and other social-service groups.