CAIR-MN calls on Waite Park to reject training 05 Mar 13

WAITE PARK, Minn. (AP) — A Muslim rights group is calling on police in Waite Park to reject a training program about Somalis.

The program “Understanding the People of Somalia” will be held Tuesday. According to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the event flier lists Somalia’s al-Shabaab as an “Islamic” organization.

The U.S. Department of State designated al-Shabaab a terrorist group in 2008. CAIR-MN spokeswoman Lori Saroya says the training flier unfairly suggests the activities of al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, are supported by most Muslims.

Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud tells the St. Cloud Times he doesn’t expect any Waite Park police officers will attend Tuesday’s training. He says the city is hosting the event for Catholic Charities workers and other social-service groups.