Two days after a bomb attack on a mosque in Minnesota and President Donald Trump is yet to criticize the act against the Muslim community, and his failure to speak about the incident has drawn ire on social media.
Early Saturday morning, an explosive device was thrown into the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. The blast killed no one as worshippers prepared for their morning prayers but it caused damage to the imam’s office. Witnesses described how the device was thrown from a vehicle before it sped away.
On Sunday and Monday, Trump instead tweeted about sanctions against North Korea, railed against “fake news” and the “failing” New York Times, and questioned Senator Richard Blumenthal’s service record in Vietnam.
MN governor denounced the mosque bombing as "an act of terrorism." Trump's silence is a gift to white supremacists. https://t.co/ymSTZdXA1V— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) August 7, 2017
But Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has described the incident as an “act of terrorism,” and the Department of Homeland Security said it “fully supports the rights of all to freely and safely worship the faith of their choosing.”
So Trump’s inaction provoked censure on Twitter. “Dear @realDonaldTrump, there was an act of domestic terrorism at the Dar Al Farooq mosque. Your silence is deafening. Sincerely, America,” one user said in a tweet. Another wrote: “24 hours after an act of terror at Minnesota’s Dar Al Farook mosque: FBI investigates while POTUS plays golf.”
Trump’s silence on the attack follows similar periods of quiet after the January shooting at a mosque in Quebec that left six dead, the murder of a Muslim teenager in Virginia and the Finsbury Park mosque attack in London that left one dead, both in June. The White House commented on the last case but Trump never directly addressed it himself on social media or in a statement.
He also faced criticism for a delayed response to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks this year on the Jewish community’s centers and cemeteries.
But his critics say he is fast in his responses to attacks perpetrated by Muslims, even tweeting about the London Bridge attack inspired by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) before police announced that it was an extremist act.
His failure to speak about the attacks comes after a new Pew Research poll showed that 81 percent of Muslim women, and 68 percent of Muslim men in the U.S. view Trump as “unfriendly toward American Muslims.”
If Trump is displaying a lack of seriousness in the eyes of the Muslim community and social media commentators after the attack, then the security services are not. Rick Thornton, the head of the FBI’s Minneapolis office, said that the investigation into the attack is the top priority of the agency. The investigation is ongoing but it has determined no suspects thus far.
The investigation may lack video evidence from the perimeter of the mosque compound, however. The Minnesota mosque’s executive director, Mohamed Omar, told the Associated Press on Monday that the congregation does not have enough funds to buy security cameras outside of the compound.