Over the weekend, a makeshift bomb was thrown into a Minnesota mosque in what many activists are calling the latest hate crime against the Muslim American community. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D), along with other state officials, visited the Bloomington mosque and was quick to call the attack “a criminal act of terrorism,” but on the federal level, President Donald J. Trump remains mum.
Thankfully, nobody at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center was hurt by the bomb when it exploded, but the attack is a part of a disturbing trend of anti-Muslim hate crimes. Every month of 2017, an average of nine mosques were attacked in the United States, according to CNN. Between April and June alone, more than 940 potential anti-Muslim incidents allegedly occurred, according to data collected by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Unfortunately, hate crimes against Muslims and anti-Muslim legislation like the Muslim ban and anti-sharia laws are a reality. From some government officials, we’ve seen attempts to collectively punish and blame Muslims for terrorism but less empathy for Muslims getting marginalized and targeted. That’s why after the Minnesota attacks happened, Muslim leaders nationwide are urging Trump to condemn it as an act of terrorism.
“We are wondering why President Trump has not tweeted about this,” Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News. “He seems to want to tweet about security and terror issues.”
Mohamed Omar, the executive director of Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, invited Trump to see the aftermath damage in the mosque.
Thankfully nobody was hurt when the bomb exploded in Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, but the mosque was damaged.
“He is the president of this country, and this happened to us,” Omar told Buzzfeed News. “He has to come here and at least express his feelings and say this is bad.”
Their pleas, however, are falling on deaf ears. In an interview with MSNBC, Sebastian Gorka, a Trump national security adviser, said that the reason White House officials have yet to condemn the attack was because it might have been faked by liberals for the sake of politics. Seriously?! This is coming from the administration that made up fake terrorist attacks to justify the Muslim ban.
“There’s a great rule: All initial reports are false,” Gorka said. “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.”
Of course, you don’t have to know the bomber’s ideology to condemn the attack. The act might have come from the left or the right – it’s heinous either way.
Not only is it hypocritical for Gorka to suggest that Trump – who has a notorious habit of tweeting without all the facts – is not commenting on the attack because “all initial reports all false,” it’s offensive. The Trump administration continues to prove that it does not care about the well-being of the Muslim American community, and its distrust and prejudice of religious minorities fuels the rhetoric that contributes to the increasing hate-motivated incidents against marginalized communities.
It’s time for Trump to be a president to all Americans, not just those he perceives as believing the “right” religion.
No one should be singled out for discrimination, hate crime, legislation and more because of their religious beliefs. That’s why Americans United will continue to fight against policies harming religious freedom and singling out Muslims. You can, too: AU teamed up with our allies at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative this year to offer advice on how everyone can support our Muslim neighbors. Make America great by countering hate with education, love and support for the members of various communities who these days may be feeling unsafe.