A St. Paul blogger faces misdemeanor charges after he allegedly harassed two Muslim women last week in downtown Minneapolis.
Minneapolis police say John Hugh Gilmore, 52, who writes a blog called Minnesota Conservatives, caused a scene Thursday night on Nicollet Mall. Sgt. Bill Palmer, a police spokesman, said Gilmore appeared to be drunk when he confronted the two women wearing the Muslim headscarf known as the hijab.
"Mr. Gilmore made some comments that he didn't believe the women should be in the United States, and that he thought that they were ruining America," Palmer said.
One of the women, University of Minnesota student Jamila Boudlali, said she's lived in Minnesota her entire life and has never been hassled about her religion.
Police say several onlookers intervened, and Gilmore allegedly threatened to assault one of the men.
Gilmore was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.
Boudlali said Minneapolis police, who took the man to jail, did the right thing.
"I have to admit I was very surprised that the guy got arrested because we've always kind of been afraid, I guess, of the police, and afraid to report things when things happen to us," Boudlali said. "It made [me] really happy and made me have a lot more trust and confidence in the city of Minneapolis."
The Muslim women had been attending the liberal NetRoots Nation convention, which was taking place at the same time as the conservative RightOnline conference.
Gilmore didn't respond to a request for comment.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.