Community Rallies Support Behind Minnesota Islamic Center

The FBI continues their investigation into the bombing but that's not stopping members of the community showing their support. KMSP Fox 9 Reporter Tom Lyden has more from Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — While the FBI continues to investigate Saturday’s bombing at a Minnesota Islamic Center, a community is rallying behind the center.

Of the 10 windows in front of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, how did the bomber know this was the Imam’s office?

He could have been sitting in the office when an explosive device, loaded with nails, shredded the office.

“Yes, the bomb happened in our Imam’s office,” said Mohammed Omar, who is the center’s executive director. “That gives us the feeling that our Imam was the target.”

The hate is familiar.

Look only at the response to the bombing on Facebook.

“Islam needs to be eliminated like the Black Plague” one person writes.

“The Muslims are not victims. They probably set it off themselves” writes another.

“Maybe they will start leaving now. Keep up the good work” another writes.

“In the past, we had some threats or comments or call-ins,” Omar said. “Some people would walk to our doors and bang the doors and have some foul language or threatening language.”

Yet, for every anonymous, hateful comment, there is a moment like this.

“I wanted to physically be present to show my face to you so that you know that there are people that care about you,” said Dawn Strommen, who brought donations to the center. “You’re part of our community.”

Strommen, who is with Plymouth Lutheran Church, stopped by to deliver a check…with interest.

“Why create fear?” Strommen said. “Love overcomes fear, always.”

Then there’s another neighbor, who has a website dedicated to a long-standing feud with the Islamic Center over zoning issues and its plans for a daycare.

They said this neighbor has called police at least two dozen times to complain about parking issues and their use of a neighborhood park.

While not explicitly racist, they see it as a kind of harassment.

A way to say ‘you’re not welcome here’ even as so many say the opposite.

“Thank you for your support,” Omar said to Strommen. “We feel like we are not alone.”

“Good! I’m so glad,” Strommen said. “You’re not alone!”

No one was injured in the explosion.

Officials said witnesses saw someone throw something from a truck or van before the blast and saw a vehicle speed away.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

 

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