Muslim American Society of Minnesota: Mosques, Islamic centers to remain closed

A Muslim organization in the Twin Cities announced it will remain closed for the time being after Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order that would allow Minnesota's houses of worship to reopen at 25% capacity this week.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota stated in a post on social media that its affiliated mosques and Islamic centers will remain closed until the state's COVID-19 infection rates "are reliably reported to decline."

"The temporary closing of Islamic centers and masjids has been  significant challenge and trial that is impacting the spiritual and social well being of the Muslim American community," the post stated. "Moreover, the health risks posed by COVID-19 remain significant and credible to individuals, families and communities — and will likely continue for months."

In the meantime, the organization said it is continuing to hold online and remote services.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued a joint statement urging houses of worship to hold virtual services only for the time being:

“We’ve spoken with faith leaders from across our Twin Cities, and what we’ve heard loud and clear is a strong, unified commitment to protecting the health of their congregations and continuing to hold services remotely. Any large in-person gathering amid this pandemic puts people at risk. Regardless of your faith and beliefs, we all have a common obligation to our respective communities and congregations. Let’s put their health and safety first.”