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Flashback: A Year Before ISIS Somali Stabbing, Minnesota Gov Told Diversity Skeptics To Leave

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A Somali man inspired by the Islamic State viciously stabbed nine people in a mall attack Saturday, nearly a year after Democratic Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said residents who don’t love diversity should get out of the state.

The attack, perpetrated by Dahir Adan, took place Saturday evening at a mall in St. Cloud. Adan arrived in the U.S. 15 years ago and was attending St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

An off-duty police officer managed to shoot and kill Adan, who had stabbed nine people, including a woman and a teenage girl. Shortly after it was all over, ISIS claimed responsibility, saying Adan was a “soldier of the Islamic State.” 

The city is home to a large Somali community, and incidentally, it’s also the same city Dayton delivered his now infamous speech.

“Look around you. This is Minnesota,” Dayton said in St. Cloud last October. “Minnesota is not like it was 30, 50 years ago. … This is Minnesota and you have every right to be here. And anybody who cannot accept your right to be here, and this is Minnesota, should find another state.”

“If you are that intolerant, if you are that much of a racist or a bigot, then find another state,” he added. “Find a state where the minority population is 1 percent or whatever. It’s not that in Minnesota. It’s not going to be again. It’s not going to be that in St. Cloud, or Rochester or Worthington.”

He argued that the people complaining about the consequences of diversity often aren’t from the local area and are just trying to stir up trouble. And when they do stir up trouble, they’re usually incorrect, anyway.

Residents of St. Cloud raised concerns that Somalis had done very little to integrate, but Council on Black Minnesotans Community Program Specialist Kolloh Nimley brushed off that obligation and turned it back on the locals.

“We need to take ownership of those concerns that we are raising. My question for you is, ‘What are you doing in St. Cloud, Central Minnesota to become a more inclusive society?'”

There are approximately 30,000 Somalis in Minnesota. There are currently federal charges against nearly a dozen Somalis who were suspected of traveling or trying to travel to join ISIS, a clear sign that radicalization has made serious inroads into the Somali community.

The Minnesota Somali community is currently most preoccupied with any backlash it may face after one of their members went on a stabbing rampage in a mall.

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