Dem: Don't confuse surveillance, outreach in Muslim community
© Anne Wernikoff

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonMinnesota sues Juul over rise in youth vaping Jane Fonda calls for protecting water resources at weekly DC climate protest Progressives ramp up fight against Facebook MORE (D-Minn.) on Sunday warned that the government must not mix up its outreach to the Muslim community in the United States with surveillance.

"There is a cautionary tale here too," he said on ABC News's “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” "We've got to not mix up surveillance and law enforcement with our outreach. Outreach means there is nobody who is in trouble — there is nobody who is suspected. We are just going to talk to you to partner.”

He said the United States must "adhere to our constitutional principles."


His comments came following reports that the Mall of America, located in Minnesota, is taking extra security precautions, after an al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia called for attacks on malls in the West. 

The Minnesota mall was referenced as well as one in Canada and London. 

Minnesota has a relatively large Muslim community. Ellison described the type of outreach that needs to be done, including engagement, inclusion and more resources. 

Communities need to be encouraged to get involved and try and help change the country if they are unsatisfied, he said. 

"The lure of extremism, violent extremism, is false. It's a lie, and its going to end up with you dead or in jail without you ever participating in some noble cause that they are promising," he said, referencing the type of message that should be amplified.