Under fire St. Paul councilor asks for 'understanding' over anti-gay comments

Kassim Busuri has faced calls to resign since the comments came to light.
Author:
Publish date:

A St. Paul council member under pressure over past comments he has made that were anti-LGBTQ has called for "understanding and compassion" for his religious beliefs.

Kassim Busuri, a Somali-American who is the interim councilor for Ward 6, has found himself in the spotlight after a series of old Facebook posts led to accusations of homophobia.

One of them included a 2014 comment "That's why I'm going back to Uganda" after he shared a story about the Ugandan president signing an anti-homosexuality bill into law.

He also wrote "I'll have to go and buy some Pasta Barilla now" after the pasta company's CEO said in an interview: "I would never do an advert with a homosexual family."

Busuri initially claimed in an interview with the Pioneer Press that those criticizing him are guilty of Islamophobia.

But in a statement issued on Monday, Busuri said: "As more members of the Somali community become active in the Democratic Party and process, a level of understanding and compassion should be reached for those who fully practice Islam.

"Equally, there should be a level of understanding and compassion to be reached for those from the LGBTQ community. Condemning someone for past comments is not the answer."

"The answer lies within our collective groups to come together and have difficult, but meaningful conversation," he added. "I do not and will not discriminate against anyone and I will do all I can within my power to recognize the humanity in each of us and bring people together."

Busuri was named the interim council member for Ward 6 this past January, but has been facing calls to step down in the wake of his comments.

The LGBTQ and youth caucuses of the Minnesota DFL has called for his resignation, saying they were "shocked and insulted" by his comments.

Next Up

ambulance

State Patrol investigating fatal crash near Duluth

The crash was reported around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

eden prairie police squad car

Carjacking reported outside shopping center in Eden Prairie

One of the suspects reportedly displayed a weapon.

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.

vaping

Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.

charley's

Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.

Related

GOP's Wardlow under fire over Islamaphobic mailers, gay marriage views

The AG candidate's campaign has pushed back, saying the criticism is a smear attempt by the DFL.

DFL official under fire for Republican 'guillotine' comment

The Facebook comment has since been deleted, with the DFL apologizing.

Kassim Busuri

St. Paul council member facing accusations of homophobia

Old Facebook posts made by Kassim Busuri have surfaced.

Lino Lakes councilor will apologize for threatening comment at Minnesota Congressman

The comment has since been deleted, but screenshots were taken and shared on social media.

St. Cloud councilor proposes temporary stop on refugees

The mayor has called the proposal 'unconstitutional.'

Chipotle reconsidering decision to fire St. Paul manager over viral video

More information has come to light about the incident.

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 9.34.39 PM

St. Paul school employee on leave over racist comment caught on video

The school district superintendent promised 'aggressive' action to address the situation.

Charges: St. Paul councilor helped elderly woman cast election ballot

St. Paul City Council member Dai Thao is facing three charges.