ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Department of Public Safety is revoking a Minnesota license plate spotted near St. Cloud, saying the "offensive" plates never should have been issued in the first place.
“It is offensive and distasteful," the DPS said in a statement Monday.
Photos of the plates, which read "FMUSLMS," began circulating on social media this past weekend -- soon gaining the attention of Gov. Mark Dayton, who contacted the DPS to have them removed.
The DPS says the personalized plates were issued in June of 2015, after an application was filed in their Foley office. The application was reviewed by the DVS and then produced by the MINNCOR Industries.
"The Department of Public Safety apologizes for this error," they said in a released statement. "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 DPS said on Monday they are in the process of revoking and taking possession of the plates, as soon as possible.
In a released statement, Dayton said, "I am appalled that this license plate was issued by the State of Minnesota. It is offensive, and the person who requested it should be ashamed. That prejudice has no place in Minnesota."
He went on to say, “I have instructed the Commissioner of Public Safety to retrieve this plate as soon as possible and re-review agency procedures to ensure it does not occur again.”
The state says, by law, it can not name the person who ordered the plates.
Haji Yusuf founded #UniteCloud, with Nalalie Ringsmuth, to try to increase understanding between Muslims and Christians. Saturday night they posted the photo to Facebook. By Monday, it had more than 500 shares and hundreds more comments.
"It’s been overwhelmingly saying, 'This is wrong.' This is what this community is all about in St. Cloud."
Ringsmuth and Yusuf insist the state worker who issued the plate should not be fired – even if issued on purpose.
"Not only to the person who issued that license, but to person who was driving that truck we want him to know, that nobody hates him. Nobody is here to take away anything from him. I want that person to take time and reflect and learn about Islam."