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Muslims in Minnesota

Minnesota is home to an estimated 150,000 Muslims. Minnesota elected a Muslim congressman this past year. The number of Muslims filing federal complaints about being targeted at work because of their faith has climbed in the past year. The U.S is engaged in war with a Muslim country. Muslims and the issues concerning them are central to our society and in the media recently but not a lot is mentioned in a local perspective. I would like to see a profile-type story done on the Muslim experience in Minnesota. But it should not only be from the Somali perspective. There are Pakistani, Bosnian, and converted Muslims for example as well who would all have a different story to tell. Since this is a Christian nation, I would like to address the issues of discrimination in workplaces, housing, and lack of accomodation--time to pray five times a day, for example. But I do vaguely remember hearing something about a housing project that had prayer rooms in the layout of the houses...Also something should be mentioned of the difficulty it is in retaining religious values when not in a Muslim society.
Islamic Cultural Community Center (Dr. Farok Assamarai): 612-782-3883
Muslim American Society of Minnesota (Khalid Elmesry): 651-494-7134
Sami Khawaja (president of Muslim Student Association at U of M): khawa0006@umn.edu

Comments

A very important story. Are you interested in pursuing this as the topic of your final news feature? Decide by the end of Monday.

Your understanding of the need to go beyond the most prominent group, Somalis, shows strong instincts to accuracy and fairness.

"The Muslim experience" is too broad. That's basically saying "LIFE." Even before you begin your research, you can be more specific about what you're talking about. You don't mean how Muslims like lutefisk and Garrison Keillor. You don't intend to follow them as they shop at Rainbow and attend Twins game (although a Muslim at a Twins game would be an interesting juxtaposition for many mainstream readers, I guess.)

Please revise this story idea by adding a sentence or two spelling out what sorts of conflicts you would look into. What aspects of the Muslim experience? Their attempts to do X; their difficulties in relating with Y.

Also, the source list must include three names of individuals whom you would try to interview. You don't have to talk to them for the purposes of the story idea write-up; just identify someone in the organization that probably would be competent to talk on the subject.

Please make these additions and email me when you have so I can credit the points.