Two Muslim men were wounded in a shooting on their way to attend overnight prayers — a common practice for those observing the holiest days of Ramadan — at a mosque in Minneapolis Wednesday morning.
Five men wearing traditional prayer robes called Qamis were seated in a car, which was stopped at a corner, when two white men came up to them and shouted anti-Muslim epithets, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Seven shots were fired at the victims' vehicle, Council of American Islamic Relations Director Jaylani Hussein told the Star Tribune. Two of the Muslim men, ages 19 and 22, were struck in the leg and taken to the University of Minnesota Medical Center; the other three were not harmed.
Minneapolis police announced Thursday that they will be investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, according to the Star Tribune. The Council on American-Islamic Relations also held a news conference calling for local police and the FBI to investigate if anti-Muslim sentiment was a motive in the shooting.
Despite having a predominantly large immigrant Somali-Muslim population, there have been several anti-Muslim and anti-Somali incidents in Minnesota within the past few years.
On Oct. 30, 2015, a 43-year-old white woman attacked Asma Jama — a Muslim woman of Somali descent and Kenyan nationality — for speaking Swahili in an Applebee's in the outskirts ofMinneapolis. The woman smashed a beer mug to her face. Jama suffered from cuts on her face and a busted lip. The woman was charged with third-degree assault.