WASHINGTON: An explosion struck a mosque on Saturday in the city of Minneapolis when worshipers were preparing for morning prayers, damaging the imam’s office but did not cause any injuries, a news report said.
According to the report in online Politico magazine, someone apparently threw the bomb through a window that caused the explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington town, south of Minneapolis city.
The blast at 5:00 am damaged the imam’s office but worshipers managed to put out the fire, even before the firefighters arrived at the scene, the report said quoting a statement from the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. FBI is leading the investigating.
Several mosques and American Muslims have come under attack amid a wave of Islamophobia triggered by statements by some of the Republican candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign, including President Trump who had proposed a complete ban on Muslims from entering the United States.
Following up on his election promises, and after several legal challenges, President Trump was eventually able to get a decision in support of his Executive Order that ban citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from travelling to the United States for at least 90 days, allowing authorities to implanting a stricter screening process. President Trump has said the ban is meanth to strengthen the security.
The attack on the Dar-Al-Farooq Islamic center is the latest in a string of attacks that took place during and subsequent to the election campaign.
Asad Zaman, the society’s director said that a witness reported something being thrown at the imam’s office when about a dozen people gathered for the morning prayers. Another witness saw a pickup truck speeding away after the blast.
Mohammad Omar, the centers executive director, said that the mosque, which serves people from the areas large Somali community, occasionally received threatening calls and email. The blast was loud enough to be heard across the street.
We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here: freedom to worship And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this,” Yasir Abdalrahman, a worshiper, told the Politico magazine.
The mosque serves the Muslims of the area. The Islamic society has offered $10,000 reward for information that can help track the suspect.
The Minnesota chapter of another Muslim group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, is also offering $10,000 award.