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Red flags go up in Minn. community when ‘Sharia vigilante’ starts patrolling streets like a cop

Abdullah Rashid via the Star Tribune.

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A Muslim man on a mission to impose Sharia law is frieghtening residents of a Minnesota neighborhood.

Abdullah Rashid, formerly Devon James Miller, 22, moved to the Somali-heavy Cedar-Riverside area from Georgia last year, is patrolling the neighborhood and approaching people he believes aren’t following the tenets of Sharia law, the Star-Tribune reported.

He’s been walking around the area scolding women about what they wear, telling people not to interact with members of the opposite sex, and to not use use drugs or alcoholic drink. And it has police and even local Muslim leaders up in arms.

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Too make it more concerning, Rashid claims to have recruited a group of 10 fellow Muslims between the ages of 18 and 25

“What he’s doing is wrong and doesn’t reflect the community at all,” the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jaylani Hussein told the Star-Tribune.

Police in Minneapolis handled reports from citizens that saw Rashid in a uniform that said “Muslim Defense Force” and “Religious Police” and had flags on it associated with the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

“We’ve had conversations with community members that live over there,” police spokesman Officer Corey Schmidt said. “Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to deal with it, but it’s something we’ve been monitoring.”

Rashid said he wants to make the area a “sharia-controlled zone” and that “non-Muslims are asked to respect” it in a recent interview, the Star-Tribune reported.

“People who don’t know me would say I’m a terrorist,” Rashid said. “I’m someone who’s dedicated to Islam and trying to help the community all ways I can.”

Rashid applied for, and was denied, a handgun permit in 2016 when the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office determined he was a danger to himself and others.

On his website he shared a video produced by terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. strike in 2011, titled “Never Trust Non-Muslims” and originally stated the Masjid Shaafici Cultural Center was his groups headquarters.

But the mosque’s imam, Abdighani Ali, disavowed Rashid and his group.

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“We’re against his ideas,” he told the Star-Tribune. “We always encourage our community to be a part of the society.”

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Carmine Sabia


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