A "Muslim Day at the Capitol" event in St. Paul took a fresh turn Wednesday when Minnesota GOP Chairman Keith Downey took the stage to address controversial remarks about Muslims by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

He said that while any proposal from presidential candidates to explain their approach to terrorism must not violate people's freedom of religion, it's also important not to squelch debate by violating candidates' right to free speech.

This year's annual Muslim event follows deadly attacks in Brussels by Islamic terrorist group ISIS and calls from Trump and Republican rival Ted Cruz for closer scrutiny of Muslims to protect the country from dangerous extremists. Last month, Gov. Mark Dayton and other business and political leaders placed ads calling prejudice against Muslims "un-Minnesotan." No current Republican officeholders signed the ad.

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