A photo of a Minnesota license plate that reads "FMUSLMS" was posted online Sunday night, and the state is now working to get it off the road.
The image was posted to Imgur and reddit Sunday night – it quickly became the top post in the Minnesota subreddit, gathering more than 100 comments. (Note: There is no language or content filter on reddit, so the comments might be considered NSFW.)
Most of the comments were critical of the plate, some of them asking what could be done about it. Others also questioned its appearance in St. Cloud, where there has been vandalism of mosques and student walkouts over bullying in recent years.
"Yes, this is not okay in any way but it does not reflect all of st. cloud..." wrote one user.
'Offensive and distasteful'
In an email statement sent to BringMeTheNews, the Department of Public Safety (which oversees the Department of Vehicle Services) apologized and called it an "error."
“This personalized license plate should never have been issued; it is offensive and distasteful," the statement says.
They're "in the process of" revoking the plates and taking them away "today," it continues.
Bruce Gordon, a department spokesperson, said they became aware of the plate when an image of it was sent to them Monday morning.
The application for a personalized license plate says a message that "offends public morals or decency may not be issued."
The plates were issued in June of 2015, and processed at a deputy registrar's office in Foley, Minnesota (about 20 minutes northeast of St. Cloud), Gordon said. The application was then reviewed by the Department of Vehicle Services.
"The Driver and Vehicle Services Division is reviewing its process for approving personalized license plates today and will immediately provide additional review and oversight of applications,” the statement says.
Gov. Mark Dayton, who said the state has revoked and is taking possession of the plates, has also asked the Department of Public Safety to review its policies to prevent future incidents like this from happening, the Star Tribune reports.
Muslims in Minnesota and the US
In December, local Minnesota leaders met in Minneapolis to talk about public perception of, and reaction toward, Muslims in America (an event Ellison attended).
According to Pew Research Center there are about 3.3 million Muslims living in the US, a number that is likely to double by 2050.
A Pew Research study found Muslims are one of the most negatively viewed religious groups in the U.S.