Trump’s silence on Minnesota mosque bombing draws criticism
U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday morning to slam “fake news” over reporting of “phony” poll numbers. But he didn’t comment on a Minnesota mosque bombing that occurred over the weekend.
The bombing, which happened around 5 a.m. local time on Saturday, at the Dar Al Farooq mosque, left the community rattled. No one was injured with the bomb that landed through a window in the imam’s office.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, along with other public officials, visited the mosque on Sunday.
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“What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly act was committed,” Dayton said, calling it a “criminal act of terrorism.”
The Department of Homeland Security also spoke out in support of those affected.
“The Department of Homeland Security fully supports the rights of all to freely and safely worship the faith of their choosing and we vigorously condemn such attacks on any religious institution,” it said in a news release.
“We are thankful that there were no injuries, but that does not diminish the serious nature of this act.”
The FBI confirmed the incident was under investigation.
The mosque’s executive director, Mohamed Omar, called the incident a “sad, and just an inhumane act,” in an interview with LA Times. He urged officials to find the culprit.
The president’s silence — especially after a recent Pew Research Institute revealed 81 per cent of Muslim women, and 68 per cent of Muslim men in the U.S. believe the president is “unfriendly toward American Muslims” — sparked criticism on social media.
Ibrahim Hooper, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ communications director, told Global News the community was not expecting Trump to respond.
“It’s not unusual for the president not to respond to anti-Muslim rhetoric,” Hooper said. “It would be surprising if he spoke out now.”
Hooper added that at the Minnesota level, there has been an outpouring of support from officials and the community.
This isn’t the first time the president has been criticized for this silence in the aftermath of attacks that target minority groups.
Earlier this year, Trump was slammed for not speaking out strongly enough amid a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.
He also had a delayed response to a February shooting in Kansas that killed an Indian immigrant.
A week after the Kansas shooting, Trump addressed both issues in his first speech to Congress.
“Recent threats targeting Jewish community centres and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” Trump said.
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The president was also criticized for not openly condemning January’s Quebec mosque attack — where a white nationalist fatally shot six Canadian Muslims. Days after the attack, the president did tweet about a near-attack at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
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