SUN Sailor Editions Excelsior/Shorewood - Page 10

Faith Sun Sailor Newspapers welcomes news releases and story ideas from the community. Send to; mail to: Sun Sailor, 33 Second St. N.E., Osseo, MN 55369. Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 • Page 10 Paulsen visits Plymouth mosque for community discussion Third District representative talks representation, interfaith dialogue and immigration By SEAN MINER At the invitation of board members, 3rd Dis- trict Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie) visited NorthWest Islamic Com- munity Center in Plym- outh to attend part of an afternoon prayer session and hold a community discussion Feb. 9. Arriving some 15 min- utes before the end of the prayer service, Paulsen removed his shoes and entered the prayer hall, sitting cross-legged on the carpet to observe. When the service fi nished, sev- eral of the service attend- ees lined up to briefl y meet the congressman, many of them thanking him for coming. Then, Paulsen and a dozen or so members of NWICC’s board and gen- eral membership walked to a classroom in the com- munity center for a discus- sion. Boardmember Sadia Tarannum introduced Paulsen and thanked him for coming. “We met last April, and I had invited him over,” said Tarannum. “It took a few months to plan this out.” Paulsen said he had been looking forward to the visit. He noted, too, that in the time that had elapsed since the invita- tion, the two attacks on Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington had taken place. Tarannum framed the discussion with those events, as well as the more general needs of the Mus- lim community in the 3rd District, in mind. “Our mosque is in your congressional district, and the majority of us live in your district,” said Taran- num. “I think it’s impor- tant to have our needs and our safety in mind when you are representing us, and that only happens if we keep meeting and hav- ing these dialogues.” She fi rst asked Paulsen what the Muslim com- munity could do to help Paulsen better represent them in Washington, D.C. “I think it’s no different than anyone else,” said Paulsen. “It’s nice to be here today, to help put a face with the name, and break down, not barriers, but preconceptions. We all work together and live to- gether in the community.” Tarannum noted that the boardmembers and mosque attendees alike wanted Paulsen to be comfortable there, point- ing out that they, in turn, felt very comfortable in other places of worship. “We want you to have that same understanding,” said Tarannum. One man at the discus- sion asked Paulsen about the current environment at the nation’s capitol. “My main question is, can you tell us what’s go- ing on in Washington?” asked the man. “It seems like a very dysfunct