Dayton denounces mosque bombing as ‘act of terrorism’

MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul
Gov. Mark Dayton

Karen Brulliard and Amy Wang of The Washington Post report: “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton denounced an explosion that rocked a Minneapolis-area mosque during morning prayers Saturday as a ‘wretched’ hate crime and act of terrorism. … If the attack was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, it would represent ‘another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months,’ CAIR-MN civil rights director Amir Malik said. CAIR said in a report last month that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States nearly doubled in the first half of this year over the same period in 2016. At least 35 anti-mosque acts — including vandalism and arson — were reported during the first three months of this year, the organization has said.”

For the AP, Jeff Baenen says: “The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in suburban Minneapolis, like other U.S. mosques, occasionally receives threatening calls and emails. But leaders say they’re more frightened after a weekend attack in which an explosive shattered windows and damaged a room as worshippers prepared for morning prayers. … Saturday’s bombing comes amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the U.S., including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren. Just recently in Minnesota, an Islamic cemetery in Castle Rock Township reported it had been vandalized with spray painted profanities and swastikas.”

In the PiPress Kristi Belcamino writes: “Dozens flocked to show support Sunday for a Bloomington mosque that was fire-bombed earlier in the weekend, an incident being investigated by the FBI and which Gov. Mark Dayton is unequivocally calling a terrorist attack. … The mosque invited the community to gather Sunday … . Another community gathering, called Standing in Solidarity with DFC,  is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday.”

Probably not related. An MPR story says, “St. Paul police took a man into custody after he tried to light papers on fire inside the Cathedral of St. Paul Saturday afternoon. Others nearby quickly extinguished the flames. Police spokesman Steve Linders said the man had a brown paper bag with a Bible and Quran inside.”

Keillor’s latest on His Orangeness, via the PiPress: “So. We have a vulgar, unstable yoyo with a toxic ego and an attention deficit problem in the White House and now we can see that government by Twitter is like trying to steer a ship by firing a pistol at the waves, not really useful, but what does it all add up to? Not that much, if you ask me, which you didn’t, but I’ll say it anyway. We will survive this. He will do what damage he can, like a man burning books out of anger that he can’t read, but there will still be plenty of books left. I went to my high school class reunion last week and the gentleman’s name never came up.”

The AP says: “Authorities have a boy in jail in a fatal shooting at a mobile home park in eastern Minnesota. Pine County dispatchers received a call about shots fired at the Pine Terrace Trailer Park late Friday afternoon. The caller reported a man on the ground bleeding. When deputies and emergency management services arrived they found a man in his 20s with multiple gunshot wounds. Despite life-saving efforts, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “The driver of a large SUV heading the wrong way on a highway just south of the Twin Cities late at night killed a motorist in a head-on crash early Sunday, authorities said. … Kacy E. Merseal, 29, of Des Moines, died in the crash after being taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Merseal was engaged to be married in June 2018, according to an announcement posted online. … [SUV driver Brandon] Dellwo’s criminal history in Minnesota since he became an adult includes two misdemeanor alcohol convictions as well as convictions three times for speeding, once for a red-light violation and another for operating an ATV without a license.”

Democracy in action. Says Jim Spencer of the Strib, “In the first six months of 2017, Best Buy spent $1.71 million lobbying, twice as much as it spent the entire year in 2016. Target Corp. spent $1.48 million lobbying from January through June 2017, only slightly less than it spent all of last year. The numbers, drawn from government records, show the Minnesota companies’ determination to kill a border adjustment tax on imports that House Republicans made a centerpiece of their Better Way tax reform plan.”  

Finally, something to feel good about: Belcamino of the PiPress says, “More than a thousand Minnesotans gathered in a St. Paul gymnasium Sunday to pack more than a half-million meals for the state’s needier seniors as part of a nationwide food-packing drive. Carol Hirsch of White Bear Lake was one of the volunteers who helped pack 500,256 meals at the University of St. Thomas and said the event sponsored by the American Association of Retired People was well-organized — and a blast. ‘I’d do it again in a minute.’ she said. The meal packing occurred in five shifts of 90 minutes each.”

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