Politics
Politics

Muslim Leaders Seek Comment From Trump On Mosque Bomb

| by Michael Doherty

President Donald Trump is facing criticism from Muslim leaders because he has yet to condemn an Aug. 5 mosque bombing in Minnesota.

A mosque outside of Minneapolis was the target of what Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton called "an act of terrorism," CNN reports. A homemade bomb triggered an explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, according to the FBI.

The FBI is reportedly still investigating who caused the attack and what motivated it.

Dayton said the bombing was "a criminal act of terrorism against the imam who, thank the good lord, was not present in his office, as it would appear that this person intended."

"And the destruction done to this sacred site is just unthinkable, unforgivable and I hope and pray that the perpetrator will be caught and prosecuted with full extent of the law," the governor added.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also condemned the attack, saying that the department "fully supports the rights of all to freely and safely worship the faith of their choosing ... [W]e vigorously condemn such attacks on any religious institution."

"We are thankful that there were no injuries, but that does not diminish the serious nature of this act," said the DHS.

As of Aug. 8, however, Trump has not made a comment on Twitter about the bombing, despite tweets about his "working vacation" at his golf course in New Jersey, comments on North Korea, and a tweet in which he called Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal a "phony Vietnam con artist."

The president's lack of comment has left some in the Muslim community with questions.

"We are wondering why President Trump has not tweeted about this," said Muslim American Society of Minnesota Director Asad Zaman. "He seems to want to tweet about security and terror issues."

The organization is offering $24,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the bomber, according to BuzzFeed.

"Silence on the part of public officials at the national level only serves to empower Islamophobes," said Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

"We invite the president to come and see what happened," said Mohamed Omar, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center's executive director.

"He is the president of this country, and this happened to us," said Omar, speaking in a room next to the office where the explosion occurred. "He has to come here and at least express his feelings and say this is bad."

National Security Advisor Sebastian Gorka suggested the president was exercising caution before condemning the attack because of the possibility it was "false," Thinkprogress reports.

"There’s a great rule: All initial reports are false," said Gorka in a MSNBC interview. "You have to check them and find out who the perpetrators are. We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by right wing individuals in the last six months that turned out to be propagated by the left. Let's allow the local authorities to provide their assessment and then the White House will make its comments."

One mosquegoer said that though the damage to the center can be fixed, the attack has also done damage to the community.

"Imagine a day care gets bombed, you know. The damage that happened, is just the physical damage," he said. "But the sense of security damage is three times, four times bigger, because now you've shaken our sense of security. And that takes time to repair."

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