For immediate release

August 10, 2017

STAND Calls Bombing of Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center ‘Deplorable’

An improvised bomb was thrown through the window of the Imam’s office of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota, in the early morning hours of August 5, causing considerable property damage but no injuries.

One congregant, on his way to early morning prayers at the mosque, said he saw a pickup truck drive away from the scene of the crime “at high speed.” Another 15 to 20 congregants inside the building when the bomb exploded put out the flames and handled the immediate damage even before first responders arrived.

The state’s largest mosque, Dar Al-Farooq primarily serves a congregation of Somalis who are part of some 50,000 in Minnesota—the largest Somali population outside the east African country.

The Minneapolis FBI Special Agent in charge of investigating the incident, together with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, described it as a “terrible crime” that will be given the resources required to solve it.

A Gofundme page to finance building repairs raised more than $19,000 in the first day and is now five times that. Bloomington citizens placed flowers and cards at the window where the bomb exploded, expressing sympathy and support for the mosque.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called it “a criminal act of terrorism.”

The Muslim American Society posted a reward offer of $10,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, and that amount almost immediately doubled.

A Gofundme page to finance building repairs raised more than $19,000 in the first day and is now five times that. Bloomington citizens placed flowers and cards at the window where the bomb exploded, expressing sympathy and support for the mosque.

Kathryn Sharpe of the Interfaith Coalition held a hand-lettered sign: “We (heart) you. We stand with you.” On Tuesday evening, some 1,000 Minneapolis-area citizens gathered at the mosque to express their support for their neighbors and condemn such an act of violence, including representatives of the Minnesota Council of Churches, the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, and Pax Christi Catholic Church in nearby Eden Prairie.

STAND national director Bari Berger issued a statement of solidarity with the Interfaith Coalition and the mosque and encouraged all Minnesota Scientologists to help in any way possible. “This attack and any attack against any religion is deplorable and perpetrated by a godless individual. All religions standing together can overcome hate.”

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