Update (September 18, 2017)
News coverage of this incident followed a familiar pattern, reaching the political stage after about a week. I haven’t read anything for a little over a month, apart from a few remakes of the original stories.
My guess is that lack of witnesses or security video is making investigation a challenge. This is the most recent substantial bit of news I found:
- “FBI Offers $30K Reward for Info in Bloomington Mosque Bombing”
KSTP Eyewitness News (August 16)
First, the good news. Nobody was hurt or killed.
Folks at a prayer service say they were surprised. That’s understandable, since someone set off a bomb near them yesterday. My guess is that many of them are still feeling uneasy. This sort of thing is uncommon in Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
Someone threw an explosive device through a window while folks at a Bloomington, Minnesota, Islamic center were praying in another part of the building.
A window’s broken, furniture inside was burned and broken, and there’s almost certainly smoke damage. But like I said: nobody was hurt. That’s good.
This should be obvious, but throwing that bomb was wrong. I’m unhappy, putting it mildly, about this. There’s simply no excuse for this sort of behavior.
But like I said, nobody was hurt. Not physically. Buildings and furniture can be replaced.
The worst injuries are invisible. My guess is that this incident will affect folks who were praying for a long time.
The Minnesota governor said the incident was an “act of terrorism.”1
He may be right. But so far the FBI is still trying to discover who did this, and why.
I don’t know why politicos, some of them, say that sort of thing before there’s evidence to back up their statements. My guess is that they figure it’s good for morale. Or their chances for re-election. Or something. I simply don’t know.
It’s likely enough that this attack was a sort of terrorism. It smacks of America’s traditional cross-burnings and lynchings. And some Americans are at least as upset about Muslims being in ‘their’ country as they have been about Catholics.
As I keep saying, I don’t miss ‘the good old days.’ (June 4, 2017)
We may learn that whoever threw the bomb just wanted to see something go ‘boom.’ Or wanted revenge because someone at the Islamic Center had taken his parking space at work. We simply don’t know.
My opinion, right now, is that I don’t have enough information to have an opinion.
That’s not surprising. My online friends and acquaintances are, for the most part, level-headed; or simply uninterested in what they consider “religious” or “political.”
A disproportionate number of folks I know online are Catholic. But that’s no surprise, either. I’m a Catholic, and joined a few specifically-Catholic online communities.
It’s not that Catholics are necessarily more righteous than anyone else. We’re human, most likely with the usual share of folks who are good, bad, or indifferent, as any large group.
I prefer staying in touch with folks who aren’t habitually angry or upset. That’s why I don’t know many angry artists or cranky Catholics.
I wouldn’t normally be writing a post now — it’s Sunday afternoon — but I want to get this out of the way promptly. I’ll keep this to a few points, and then get back to my usual Sunday routine.
Like I said, I’m a Catholic. The folks who were praying are Muslims.
Even if my background and personality didn’t help me see them as neighbors, my faith would. Or should.
My guess is that many or most of the folks who were praying are comparatively recent arrivals in this country: compared with folks like Boston’s older families, anyway.
I’ve talked about nativism, love, and Abrahamic religions, before. (November 29, 2016)
“…the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind….”
(“Lumen Gentium,” Pope Bl. Paul VI (November 21, 1964))
Incidents like vandalism at Golden, Colorado’s Mother Cabrini Shrine in 2010 help me understand the feelings of folks who are more personally involved with the recent Bloomingdale incident.
I don’t know how folks who were praying in Bloomington feel, of course. I can’t tell what happens in another person’s mind. Not directly.
But I can try to find parallels in my experience to help me understand.
Update, Sunday evening, August 6, 2017. (August 7, 2017, UTC)
This incident is now international news:
- “US seeks suspects after Minnesota mosque explosion”
IANS Feeds, India.Com (August 7, 2017)
- “Mosque run by Somali community attacked by bomb in United States”
AT editor, Africa Times (August 6, 2017)
More of my take on living in a big world:
- “Death in Manchester”
(May 24, 2017)
- “Who is My Neighbor?”
(February 1, 2017)
- “Conservative? Liberal? No: Catholic”
(January 22, 2017)
- “Hate, Justice, Forgiveness”
(November 29, 2016)
- “Shopping Center Attack: Why I Care”
(September 20, 2016)
“FBI confirms IED caused explosion at Islamic center in Bloomington, Minn.”
Romy Ackerberg, KMSP/Fox9 News (August 5, 2017)
“The Minneapolis chapter of the FBI is investigating the early morning explosion at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
“According to the FBI, a preliminary investigation indicates that the explosion was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device.
“Community leaders say the explosion occurred in the Imam’s office around 5:05 a.m. Saturday, five minutes after the first morning prayer had begun.
“‘I was sad, and I was surprised,’ said Mohamed Omar, executive director of Dar Al-Farooq. ‘I was shocked. It was first prayer, it was 5 a.m. and the whole neighborhood was calm, people were supposed to be sleeping. That’s how peaceful it should be.’
“Omar said that five minutes into first prayer, the congregation saw smoke billowing out of a broken window leading to the center Imam’s office. When they saw the broken window, they called police….”
“FBI Investigates Blast Caused by IED at Bloomington Islamic Center”
KSTP (August 6, 2017)
“Authorities are investigating an explosion that happened Saturday morning at a Muslim community center in Bloomington.
“Police said the explosion was reported at about 5 a.m. at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, which is on the 8200 block of Park Avenue South.
“Mohamed Omar, executive director of the center, said something came through an office window during morning prayers and set off sprinklers in a ball of fire. A van or pickup truck was seen driving by before the explosion.
“The building sustained ‘significant damage’ near an imam’s office. About a dozen people were inside at the time, but no injuries were reported.
“The Muslim American Society of Minnesota is offering a $10,000 reward for information in the case….”
- “Dayton calls Bloomington mosque blast ‘act of terrorism’”
Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune (August 6, 2017)