Mennonite Migration to Cottonwood County

Believing that war and violence are inconsistent with Jesus’s teachings to love one’s enemies, a group of people from Molotschna Colony, Russia—Mennonites of Dutch descent—searched for a permanent home in the early 1870s. They found such a place, where they could follow their faith without persecution, in Minnesota’s Cottonwood County.

Color image of the he skyline of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis viewed from the north. At center are the Riverside Plaza complex of apartment buildings and Mixed Blood Theatre. Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi, May 3, 2017.

Skyline of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood

The skyline of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis viewed from the north. At center are the Riverside Plaza complex of apartment buildings and Mixed Blood Theatre. Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi, May 3, 2017.

Color image of the interior of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM), 2017. Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi.

Interior of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM)

Interior of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM), 2017. Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi.

Exterior of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM), 2017. Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi.

Exterior of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM)

Exterior of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM), 2017. Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi.

Color image of Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM). Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi, April 24, 2017.

Mohamud Noor

Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM). Photograph by Ibrahim Hirsi, April 24, 2017.

Color image of participants in a leadership development program gather around Malala Yousafzai (at center, in green) at the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota in August 2016.

CSCM program participants with Malala Yousafzai

Participants in a leadership development program gather around Malala Yousafzai (at center, in green) at the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, August 2016. Yousafzai, a Nobel Prize winner and Pakistani-born international women’s rights advocate, visited Minneapolis in July of that year to deliver a public address at Target Center.

Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota

Founded in 1994, the Minneapolis-based Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM) is one of the oldest Somali-operated nonprofit organizations in the state. For more than two decades, it has provided job and education services as well as health care and legal assistance to members of the community who face language and cultural barriers.

Adhan (call to prayer) at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque

The adhan (call to prayer) is recited before each prayer. This audio clip includes the adhan recited by Ahmed Jamal at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis on January 8, 2016.

Color image of a Minnesotans in solidarity with Muslim Americans against Islamophobia event, 2015.

Minnesotans in solidarity with Muslim Americans against Islamophobia event

Solidarity event held at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque on December 14, 2015. Dar Al-Hijrah's main religious leader, Imam Sharif Mohamed, stands with hands clasped at center right. The Islamic Civic Society of America is a civic institution that seeks to demonstrate the compatibility between Islamic principles and the principles of democracy. An example of their work was experienced on a cold winter’s night in December, when ICSA hosted an event to discuss Islamophobia in America. More than a hundred Minnesotans from diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds came to support their Muslim American colleagues, friends, and neighbors, who have faced increasing incidents of prejudice and discrimination in the 2010s. Several elected officials and religious leaders (including imams, rabbis, and pastors) saw Islamophobia as opposing American ideals of freedom and democracy, and vowed to help protect the rights of Muslim Americans. This type of event is one of many hosted by ICSA at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque.

Color image of Somali women pray in the women’s prayer room at Dar Al-Hijrah during the holy month of Ramadan. 2013.

Ramadan and Eid at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque

Somali women pray in the women’s prayer room at Dar Al-Hijrah during the holy month of Ramadan. Photographed by Mohamud Mumin, 2013.

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