That could change, said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a St.Cloud State University graduate.“Ilhan winning definitely shows that community members are not just interested in running, but actually people from East Africa who have made Minnesota their home can actually win,” Hussein said. Cloud over the refugee population might keep some Somali candidates from seeking office, Hussein said.And in 2015, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud was indicted after he was accused of traveling from Columbus to Syria to help terrorists.
Columbus' at-large council system makes it much more difficult for a Somali representative to be elected. As Chambers wrote the book, the Minneapolis Police Department had seven Somali officers, with several others in the academy. Paul had one female officer who wore a snap-on hijab, a head-scarf. Chambers said it makes no sense that Columbus police won't allow potential female recruits from the community to wear the hijab. "In my mind, you want the police force to reflect the community that they're serving," Chambers said.
Mohammed Dirieh, program director of Wadajir Social Services in western Franklin County, said Somalis in Minnesota also have a state representative in Minneapolis. Columbus police leaders said in 2015 that they wanted the division to be perceived as a nonreligious, nonpolitical organization, and that the uniform should reflect that neutrality. Local Somali leaders here said their community remains apart from the population overall, despite having a significant presence here for two decades.
At least 22 Somali men have gone from Minnesota to Somalia to fight for the extremist al-Shabaab group that has ties to the Islamic State. 28, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an 18-year-old Somali refugee, crashed his brother's car into a crowd of people on the Ohio State campus and slashed at people before he was shot and killed by an Ohio State police officer. Federal authorities believe that the attack was inspired by an American-born cleric with ties to al-Qaida.
Others have tried to go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. ISIS has also claimed that he was acting on behalf of the Islamic State.
Paul to see how they overcame some of those challenges.