Lonsdale Sign Sparks Controversy After St. Cloud Mall Shootings
You wouldn't think that a little town like Lonsdale, Minnesota, population around 4,000 would have anything controversial going on. That all changed after the attacks in St. Cloud this past weekend.
A message went up in front of the Treats Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor on Monday. One of the lines posted on it is "Muslims Get Out." Dan Ruedinger, the owner, said that the sign was put up because he has had enough and wants to stand up for all the violence.
According to the Star Tribune, his message is not that he is turning away Muslims or anyone else as customers. If you come in and you are friendly and nice you are welcome no matter color or ethnic background you come from. Tuesday morning he was greeted by the police department, investigating vandalism. They found a hate note and a broken window along with some other signs of vandalism.
Lonsdale Police Chief Jason Schmitz says they are classifying it as a hate crime.
Ruedinger says for the most part support has been positive for what he is doing. He said business is actually up because people have come in that did not know about the place until now. Mayor Tim Rud says he respects Ruedinger's right to free speech but that it should not be taken as how he feels or the city council or staff feels.
The executive director of the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations was planning to visit Tuesday to talk about the sign and get Ruedinger to meet with others at the Islamic Center in Faribault.