Minnesota's Muslims were reassured by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials on Thursday that authorities will protect them from retribution from events like this week's deadly attacks in Brussels.
"The atmosphere in America today is very fearful to me," one of the participants at the meeting, Aman Obsiye, told officials, reports CBS News
, and others thanked them for reaching out to the community.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton told the group that Minnesota authorities will aggressively deal with hate crimes, while U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said it is the job of law enforcement to keep all safe, including Muslims.
The event came one day after Gov. Mark Dayton spoke at Muslim Day, which was observed at the state capitol on Wednesday. The state houses the largest Somali population that has relocated in the United States. Dayton also ordered that flags be flown at half-staff after the Brussels reports.
Also on that day, Dayton, who is a Democrat, was joined by Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey, who denounced calls from Donald Trump or any others for a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the United States.
"It's important for our presidential candidates to explain their approach. But no proposal should violate religious freedoms," Downey told CBS Minnesota.
"It is important to oppose Donald Trump's — or any other proposals — to combat terrorism in a way that would threaten freedom of religion, including banning Muslims outright from entering our country, or tracking Muslims and shutting down mosques without cause."
Downey also said Minnesota's Muslims should engage in more public dialogue about terrorism and Islam in America.
Minnesota's large Somali population
, coming as a result of more than 30,000 being relocated there in recent years by the State Department, have left its young adults as the target for recruitment from the Islamic State and other terror organizations, and dozens of young Muslim men and women from the Midwestern state have been arrested while trying to head overseas to fight with the jihadists.
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