While the FBI continues to search for a perpetrator who threw an improvised explosive device through a window of an imam’s office at the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, the White House has yet to comment. Is there a double standard when it comes to acts of terror against Muslims?
Police were called around 5 a.m. on Saturday following reports of an explosion as worshippers prepared for morning prayers. The blast damaged a room and shattered windows; fortunately no one was injured. One worshipper saw a pickup truck speed out of the parking lot shortly after the explosion.
After visiting the mosque on Sunday morning, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton described the bombing as an act of terrorism.
The bombing comes amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents across the U.S., including arson attacks, vandalism, harassment of women wearing hijabs, and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren. Just recently, an Islamic cemetery in Minnesota reported it had been vandalized with spray painted profanities and swastikas.
Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S., roughly 57,000 people, according to the latest census figures. Immigrants have been coming to Minnesota from their war-torn homeland since the 1990s. These people, like many other immigrants, came to this country seeking freedom to worship, a freedom that continues to be under attack.
Since the election, the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims has risen 91% in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2016, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
However, other communities are not immune to such hate crimes.
- In Silver Springs, Maryland, a sign advertising Spanish church services was ripped and vandalized with the words, “TRUMP NATION WHITES ONLY.”
- In New York, swastikas were drawn on several doors at a residence hall at the New School.
- Anti-Semitic graffiti—including a swastika and the words “Heil Trump”—appeared at a bus stop on the University of California at San Diego campus.
- Black students at the University of Pennsylvania were subjected to racial slurs and violent threats by someone using the name “Daddy Trump.” There was also calendar invite for a “daily lynching.”
- According to the Detroit Free Press, a man threatened a Muslim student at the University of Michigan, demanding that she remove her hijab or be set on fire with a lighter.
There have also been numerous efforts to block or deny zoning permits for the construction and expansion of mosques while other proposed houses of worship are approved.
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, said the rise in hate preceded the election of President Trump, but Trump has not helped the situation:
“I could tell you that other (presidents), including President Bush, have spoken up for tolerance. We’re hoping for a word from President Trump to say that we want a tolerant community and we will condemn all hate crimes by anyone, including against the Muslim community.”
Many are questioning why President Trump has failed to respond; why does he continue to turn a blind eye to such attacks and threats? Making Muslims – or any religious group – feel unwelcome is in total conflict with the vision of our Founding Fathers.
The election and the current political and social consequences of that election have had a profound effect on all of us. While I respect the presidency and the office of president, I find that the current president’s abusive rhetoric and bluster directed at American citizens, particularly innocent Muslim immigrants, runs contrary to the very essence of what the presidency is supposed to be. The president represents all of us, regardless of race, creed, religion, or even political views. I would like to see him rise to the occasion and cease his divisive, un-American behavior.
In Betrayal of Justice, my second novel, I tackle Islamophobia in an America that seems to have forgotten its roots. As a new president is elected on a campaign promise to “Make America Pure Again” and to end to “the Muslim scrounge,” a white supremacist celebrates the President’s victory by firebombing a Michigan mosque. When the white supremacist is later found murdered, all evidence points to Arya Khan, a young Muslim woman who privately investigated the bombing.
Betrayal of Justice is set to be released later this summer. For more information, please visit my website at www.markmbello.com.
Mark Bello was born in Detroit, Michigan and has been a Michigan attorney for 40 years. He is the CEO of Lawsuit Financial, a pro-justice, non-recourse, lawsuit funding company. Mark is a Certified Civil Mediator, a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.