Racist, Anti-Semitic Attacks Threaten Twin Cities Targets

Monday, a federal judge sentenced Illinois militia leader Emily Claire Hari to 53 years in jail for the 2017 bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. The sentencing came amidst news of other alleged hate crimes in the Twin Cities.

Feven Gerezgiher reports:

Monday, a federal judge sentenced Illinois militia leader Emily Claire Hari to 53 years in jail for the 2017 bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, MN.

At a press conference, Monday, Dar Al-Farooq board member Abdulahi Farah denounced the bombing as a failed terror attack.

“Hate will not win,” said Farah. “Today, although we had to relive the stories of pain and trauma after the terrorist attack on our community, I was once again given hope [by] the resilience of our community.”

The sentencing came amidst news of other alleged hate crimes in the Twin Cities.

This last week, a St Louis Park synagogue canceled in-person services for the Jewish Sabbath after threats of violence. Steve Hunegs with the Jewish Community Relations Council stood in solidarity with the Muslim community on Monday. 

“You look at this unfortunate succession of attacks against houses of worship – against mosques, temples, synagogues, churches – and you want to call out the common denominator and/or the community’s abhorrence of such attacks,” he said.

Hunegs says there’s been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents stemming from the Israel-Palestine conflict, and also from white supremacist beliefs.

In August, the FBI reported that hate crimes in 2020 were at their highest level in over a decade.

Also last week, a white nationalist message was graffitied on the Hmong Cultural Center, defacing their signage as well as art supporting the Black community. Kang Vang teaches citizenship at the center. He says he was concerned for his students’ safety but made the incident a learning opportunity about America’s racial climate.

“Violence against Asians…violence is part of our history here in the United States, you know?” reflected Vang. “It feels weird that the media had just started recognizing it in the last few years when it’s been going on for such a long time.”

Despite that, Vang is optimistic. He says following the vandalism, the community rallied in support of the cultural center. Vang says it shows his students the importance of being in solidarity with other communities.

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