A Canadian Muslim invited to the Minnesota Capitol to talk with lawmakers Wednesday about ways to combat extremism pushed back against accusations that she also holds extremist views.

Raheel Raza, who was born in Pakistan and has spent decades speaking and writing about combating radical Islam, said she was "deeply saddened" by a letter from House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman asking that her invitation to the Capitol be rescinded.

"I know the pulse of the problem, what the issues are, how communities are struggling and most importantly I am working against the radicalization of our youth," Raza said. "I am, so to speak, in the trenches."

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