Ellison calls on Trump to condemn Minnesota mosque bombing
Aug. 09, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic National Committee deputy chairman and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison on Wednesday called it "an outrage" that President Donald Trump has not condemned the weekend bombing of a Minnesota mosque as a terrorist attack.
The explosion at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington happened early Saturday just before morning prayers and caused extensive damages to the imam's office but did not injure anyone. The FBI is investigating.
Ellison represents the Minneapolis area — though not the site of the explosion — and is the nation's first Muslim elected to Congress. He issued a statement through the national Democratic Party Wednesday joining the chorus of Muslim organizations and Democrats calling on Trump to label the bombing as a terrorist attack.
"The President's failure to condemn the terrorist attack on the Bloomington Islamic Center is an outrage. It suggests that his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the right to equal protection under the law, only extends to people who meet certain racial and religious criteria," Ellison said.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton visited the mosque Sunday and called the bombing a "wretched" terrorist act. Islamic leaders in Minnesota and nationwide have said they're waiting for the president to say something similar.
But Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka said during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC that the White House would withhold comment until the investigation is complete, suggesting that it may have been a hoax orchestrated "by the left."
Ellison also called on Trump to condemn Gorka's comments.
The Minneapolis FBI office has shared little information about its investigation, including whether it has identified any suspects. In a statement Monday afternoon, Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton called it a "terrible crime" and vowed to focus every available resource on the case until it's solved.
The Dar Al-Farooq mosque primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area. Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community outside of east Africa with an estimated 57,000 people, according to the most recent census estimates.