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It Took A Democratic Governor To Finally Call The Mosque Bombing Terrorism

Maybe you’ve finally heard by now that a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota was bombed early Saturday morning. Maybe. It seemed confusing as it was being reported, because nobody was calling it what it actually was: an act of terrorism aimed at a church. In fact, you were hard-pressed to find anyone even calling it a hate crime, despite the fact that it clearly was. Everything about the incident added up to exactly what America would have called a terrorist attack — if it had been committed by Muslims, instead of against them.

In the New York Times report, details included the fact that congregants has just begun to gather for morning prayers, the fact that the bomb was thrown into the Imam’s (pastor’s) room, and the fact that one worshiper ran outside at the sound of the explosion just in time to see a truck speeding out of the parking lot. Just everything you might need for a terrorist attack: maximum presence, a specific target, and a fleeing suspect.

When news hit the wire that it was carried out with an improvised explosive device — an IED, in the parlance of Middle East wars — you’d think that would draw some response from the President of the United States. A terrorist attack on a church, using a weapon you might find in the desert of Iraq. Condemnation from every Republican in Washington, right?

Not so much.

It took until Sunday before someone finally called it a terrorist attack, and it was Minnesota’s own Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, who used the appropriate language. He visited the Dar al Farooq mosque with a cadre of other public officials, and was devastated by the sight:

What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly act was committed. It is a criminal act of terrorism.

But Muslims across the country surely know that Trump’s silence on the issue is quite purposeful. He’s made it very clear that his aim since before he even secured the Republican nomination was to curtail Muslim entry into the US, to marginalize them and monitor them as though their very presence were terrorism in itself. Every attack inside the US that is perpetrated by a Muslim, whether it is related to religion, hate crimes, or simply random, is immediately branded terrorism. But crimes against them are never looked at in the same light.

We must support our Muslim brothers and sisters across this country, and never allow them to be marginalized the way Trump and his fellow Republicans want them to be. If we don’t hold the terrorist responsible for this attack to the same account we would demand of a Muslim attacker, we are no better than the Trump fans across the country who were no doubt secretly glad that it happened.

Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images