Twin Cities Muslim leaders say a man with a history of mental illness stabbed an imam inside his Minneapolis mosque this week.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Minnesota said Imam Awil Adan suffered head and arm injuries, and could have been killed had another person at the Khalid Binu Walid Center on West Lake Street not intervened. Hussein said the imam is at home recovering.
Hussein said the alleged attacker is a danger to himself and others in the Somali-American community.
"We need more support for mental health services. There are many individuals in our community today who are in dire need of treatment, who are in dire need of being in a facility."
Grow the Future of Public Media
MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!
The 37-year-old man is jailed, but prosecutors have not charged him.
He has several past assault convictions. Last year a judge found the man incompetent to stand trial for several other attacks, including a 2020 incident where he allegedly hit a grocery store employee with a rock.
"Mental illness is a big factor in crimes that are happening in our community. And without the proper resources and proper support, we believe that this will continue to happen. This individual is a danger to himself and he's a danger to the community," Hussein said.
The alleged attacker is jailed in connection with other cases, but prosecutors have not charged him in this latest incident. MPR News generally does not name people said to be involved in crimes until they are charged.