A Minnesota mosque was attacked on Saturday morning when someone threw a makeshift bomb through a window. More than a dozen people were inside at the time, getting ready for morning prayers. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blast.
Within hours, the FBI confirmed that an improvised explosive device (IED) had been used. The next day, Minnesota’s governor called the attack “an act of terrorism.”
From #FBIMinneapolis: IED caused explosion at the Dar Al Farooq Community Center this morning.
— FBI Minneapolis (@FBIMinneapolis) August 5, 2017
Hate crimes against Muslims have surged in recent years, even though Americans as a whole are slowly warming to their Muslim neighbors. Muslims are still viewed less favorably than other religious groups—which might be because most Americans don’t know a single Muslim.
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) February 15, 2017
When we say “the frontlines are where we live,” this is what we mean. And not just if you live in Minnesota, either.
Anti-Muslim incidents have occurred at mosques in all but seven US states. These include vandalism, racist graffiti painted on walls, death threats, physical assault, arson, and more.
Chances are, you live near a mosque that’s been affected—whose worshippers have been intimidated, threatened, or attacked.
So what will you do?
Here’s a suggestion: show up. Don’t wait for the next attack, either. Pick up the phone, get in your car, and reach out to members of the Muslim community in your neighborhood. Make plans to visit to a local mosque.
You don’t have to have an agenda. You don’t have to have something brilliant or clever to say. Just show up with an open mind and a determination to love. You can wage peace with your mere presence.
“We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came,” said one worshipper at the Minnesota mosque that was targeted this weekend. “Freedom to worship. And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this.”
Show up for your Muslims neighbors and send a powerful message that we belong to each other, that our well-being—our freedom—is tied up in each others’.