Wednesday, August 9th, 2017...11:30 am

Governor, elected officials condemn attack on Bloomington mosque

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AJW STAFF REPORT — Gov. Mark Dayton called the Saturday attack on a Bloomington mosque “an act of terrorism.”

The governor — along with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison; state Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis; and other elected officials and community leaders — gathered Sunday at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, which was damaged by an improvised explosive device thrown through a window early on the morning of Aug. 5.

In remarks reported by the Star Tribune, Dayton condemned the “cowardly, terrible act… that was committed.” He noted that, although there were no personal injuries, “the destruction done to this sacred site is just unthinkable, unforgivable. I hope and pray the perpetrator will be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The bomb was thrown through a window of the imam’s office. The explosive device and a water sprinkler system resulted in extensive damage to the office.

On a GoFundMe page, mosque officials expressed thanks to the outpouring of support from the community after the attack: “A variety of faith communities came to the mosque to express their support and offer any help they could. Neighbors were walking down the street holding signs in support for the mosque. This is just another reminder that Minnesotans are one community who support each other during difficult times.”

The attack on the mosque received national and international press coverage.

“Like other U.S. mosques, the center in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, occasionally receives threatening calls and emails,” reported the Guardian newspaper of London. “But leaders said they were more frightened after the weekend attack, in which an explosive shattered windows and damaged a room as worshippers prepared for morning prayers.

According to the newspaper, Mohamed Omar, the center’s executive director, said, “We feel like it’s much deeper and scarier than like something random. It’s so scary.”

The FBI has joined the investigation of the attack on the mosque, according to press reports.

As the AJW went to press this week, a community gathering at the mosque was announced for Tuesday evening. Jewish Community Action was among the groups participating in the event.

Those wishingto  help Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center can donate at the GoFundMe page that was set up.

(American Jewish World, 8.11.17)

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