The bombing of Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center,in Bloomington MN was without question a terrorist act. The attack was frightening and disturbing,but what should equally concern Muslims, especially Somali Muslims is the US government’s reticence to name the attack an act of terror, or even a hate crime. Labeling it terror flies in the face of US propaganda, which has painted Muslims as terrorists, so conversely they can’t be victims of terrorism. This conscious double standard doesn’t bode well for the future of Muslims in the US.
Terrorism is, “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives,” according to the Code of Federal Regulations, which the FBI relies on for its working definition.
So according to the FBI’s own measuring stick this was an act of terrorism. This was an attack on a property, with no doubt the intent to kill. The bomber apparently knew that worshipers would be arriving not long after he placed the bomb.
The FBI has taken a wait and see approach, but they weren’t as hesitant when a young Somali Muslim man who was suffering a psychotic break stabbed several people in a St Cloud mall last year. FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Thornton immediately said the crime was being investigated as a “potential act of terror.”
Thornton and the FBI have said it was too early to say much at all “without a suspect or a motive firmed up.” What motive could someone possibly have for tossing a bomb into a religious institution, or anywhere else for that matter? The FBI won’t even call it a hate crime at this point.
Why is the FBI is holding back speculation? It’s likely that the FBI and US president Donald Trump are silent because this does not fit their agenda. It doesn’t accommodate the propaganda that says Muslims practice a violent religion and are inherently terrorists.
The governments half- heartedness harks back to the days of the Civil Rights struggle against Jim Crow segregation in which the same organization which were charged with keeping White Supremacy in place the FBI the police and other national security and law enforcement agencies were also called on to investigate crimes including bombings aimed at Civil Rights fighters. At the time the FBI spied upon, harassed and monitored the freedom fighters and not the devils who were trying to keep segregation in place by any means necessary, including through terror bombing, lynching and plain old harassment.
Who can forget that while Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was signing Civil Rights legislation and making speeches declaring, “we shall overcome” his FBI was monitoring Civil Rights leader and icon Martin Luther King Jr.
Muslims in the US find themselves in a similar situation. The same local FBI director who helped lock up a group of (no doubt misguided Somali young men but not criminal) for long stretches of imprisonment last summer, for simply talking about and then changing their minds about joining ISIS, is now tasked with investigating a crime against the very same community, which his organization and the US government views as suspect.
Muslims, especially Muslims of Color should see this for what it is. The FBI is a “FRIEND-EMY”, simultaneously hater and helper!
Meanwhile, the crazy like a fox White House, has implied that maybe Muslims tried to blow up their own mosque.
How else can President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Sabastian Gorka’s remarks about the attack be interpreted? He actually said without offering proof that, “alleged hate crimes by right wing individuals in the last six months turned out to be actually propagated by the left.”
MN Governor Mark Dayton was the only official with the courage to call the bombing what it was, “an act of terrorism, a criminal act of terrorism.” He along with US Congressman Keith Ellison got it right.
In 2015 the Minneapolis Star Tribune in an article titled “Minneapolis FBI refused to use Somali Outreach for Spying,” revealed that according to a government memo released in 2009, “The FBI directed its agents in Minneapolis and five other U.S. cities in 2009 to use community outreach with Somali groups as cover to gather intelligence on terrorist recruiting efforts and on individuals who would likely be vulnerable to being radicalized, according to a newly released memo that outlines the secretive operation.”
The 2009 memo also revealed that the spy effort targeted the Minneapolis Somali community as its highest priority.The other cities targeted for spying on Somalis were Cincinnati; Seattle; San Diego; Washington, D.C., and Denver.
The memo outlines “how agents across the country were to work in concert with FBI community outreach programs and the bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit “to develop a baseline profile of Somali individuals who are vulnerable to being radicalized or participating in extremist activities.”
The Muslim community and the Somali Muslim community in particular which is Black, immigrant and Muslim should not pretend they are safe in a country that seeks their elimination internationally. They should see this for what it is and organize themselves and work with others to bring about a society that refuses to discriminate because of color, religion or anything else.
Burying one’s head and pretending to be FULLY American has historically not yielded the desired result. Tyranny only goes away through resistance nothing else!
justice then peace