Over the weekend, an improvised explosive device was detonated in a Minneapolis-area mosque in what Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton denounced as a clear hate crime. Luckily no one was hurt. According to data compiled by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), it is unfortunately the latest case in an “ever-quickening escalation” of anti-Islamic incidents at mosques. In the first half of 2017, according to CAIR figures, there have been 85 such incidents, already more than the combined number reported between 2009 and 2015.
On Tuesday, hundreds of Minnesotans gathered at a nearby soccer field to show solidarity for their Muslim American neighbors. According to BuzzFeed, “Jewish and Christian leaders joined locals and politicians, ranging from state officials to Sen. Al Franken, in an outpouring of support for the Muslim American community, while the FBI continues to search for the suspect responsible for the attack. Speaker after speaker, the message was singular: American Muslims are not alone.”
“What happened Saturday morning was an attack on all of us,” Senator Al Franken told the crowd, the vast majority reported to be unaffiliated with the mosque. “It wasn’t just an attack on this center, or on Muslims, it was an attack on all Minnesotans. On all religious faiths. It was an attack on those Minnesotans who are non-believers.”
“This outrageous attack came at a time of peace and prayer,” said Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. “The attacker wanted to divide us but he failed,” he stated to loud applause.