Islamic Center hosts mayor criticized for Muslim comment on Facebook

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The mayor who came under fire for a Facebook comment calling the Obamas Muslim and saying they "destroyed the fabric of democracy" attended an Islamic Center's potluck dinner Saturday night.

Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and his wife attended the Islamic Center of Twin Ports event after the mosque's president invited him.

The goal, the Duluth News Tribune said, was to get different people in the community together and talking to each other, leaving religion and politics out of it.

The Facebook comment

Hagen quickly came under fire a couple weeks ago after he left a Facebook comment on a photo of First Lady Michelle Obama, which read:

“Unbelievable! She and her Muslim partner have destroyed the fabric of democracy that was so very hard fought for.”

He later confirmed with KBJR 6 he wrote the comment, saying he doesn’t believe President Barack Obama is Christian (a claim some critics continue to assert, even though it’s been repeatedly proven false.)

Backlash was swift.

The Superior City Council called on Hagen to retract his comment or resign. A protest in Superior Monday continued to put pressure on Hagen, Wisconsin Radio Network reported.

On Dec. 23, Hagen put out a statement (a copy of which was posted by FOX 21) saying he would not resign, and though his words may not have been "versed well or to the liking of some," he said he stands by his "unalienable right to speak and represent my beliefs through the First Amendment."

In a Jan. 1 letter published in the Superior Telegram, Hagen apologized for being "insensitive," and said he has "zero ill will, disrespect or animosity toward the Muslim religion."

The invite

Before that came out, the Islamic Center’s president, Ibrahim Al-Qudah, told the Duluth News Tribune he wanted to take “a different route,” and invited the mayor to dinner.

And that's what happened Saturday night, when Hagen and his family arrived for the potluck dinner with about 100 Muslims from the Islamic Center, WDIO reports.

On Facebook, the mosque thanked Hagen and his wife for coming, as well as city councilors and "so many wonderful members of the Twin Ports community."

"Masha'Allah! What an AMAZING turnout!" the post reads, before continuing: "We feel that this event was a great step in the right direction."

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