For the first time in the American state of Minnesota, eight Muslim Somali-American police officers found themselves in one shift, without their American counterparts last weekend at the Metro Transit police, Kahawa Tungu reported.
“We took calls, we took care of people just like we do every day and that to me was an amazing experience,” said Abdiasis Mohamed who was employed last year and moved to America when he was eight of age.
“We were all just sitting there, and we kind of just came together and it wasn’t planned at all.”
According to the Somali American Police Association, there are eight Somali police officers in Minneapolis, three at St Paul, two at Columbia Heights, one at Ramsey Sheriffs, one at Rochester, one at Mankato and one at Eden Prairie. In total, they are 24 at the Minnesota State.
Jaylani Hussein of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) explained that “of the 120 full-time police officers who work for Metro Transit, the Muslim officers are significant in handling the Muslim population in the state which has been growing.”
“They’re more likely to engage in a calm and collective way, and anxiety may be reduced to know that somebody that looks like you is actually on the other side of the call,” she continued.
Metro Transit is the primary public transportation operator in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area of Minnesota and the largest operator in the state.
In fact, Minnesota has America’s largest Muslim Somali population, with an estimated 57,000 people, the largest concentration outside of their Muslim east African homeland, Somalia.
A 2010 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that the majority of Minnesotans are North European Christians, while 13% of the state’s population are atheists.
On the other hand, Muslims represent a tiny minority of just 1% and the state is home to over 30 mosques, mostly in the Twin Cities metro area.
Minnesota is the 12th largest in the area and the 22nd most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 55% of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area known as the ‘Twin Cities’.
The north state was inhabited by various indigenous peoples such as Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European occupiers in the 17th century.
Like many Midwestern states, it remained sparsely populated until the 19th and early 20th centuries when a large number of Scandinavia and German immigrants began to colonize the state. By the mid and late 20th century, settlers from Asia, Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America have arrived.