Civil rights group calls for action after blast at Minnesota mosque

CAIR-MN is offering $10K for information leading to an arrest.

A Muslim civil rights group is calling on law enforcement to act quickly to find the person who threw an explosive at a Minnesota mosque this weekend.

The FBI is investigating the attack, which happened Saturday morning at the Dar Al-Farooq Youth and Family Center, an Islamic mosque in Bloomington.

In a news release Sunday morning, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) says the blast shattered windows during an early morning prayer service. No one was hurt in the explosion.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota's executive director, Asad Zaman, told WCCO it was a fire bomb that was thrown into the building and said one of the worshippers saw a truck speeding away from the scene after the blast. 

CAIR-MN is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. 

“We hope a reward will help law enforcement authorities quickly apprehend the perpetrator of this act of violence targeting an American house of worship,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Amir Malik.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota is offering a similar reward.

CAIR's national office is also urging mosques and Islamic centers nationwide to step up security measures, the release says.

'Possible bias motive'

CAIR is asking law enforcement to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

“If a bias motive is proven, this attack would represent another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months," Malik said in the release.

CAIR notes this attack comes just a week after a Muslim cemetery was vandalized in Castle Rock Township. They believe both incidents indicate a possible bias motive.

The group says it has seen an "unprecedented spike" in hate crimes targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the last presidential election.

A recent CAIR update on anti-Muslim incidents found that the number of hate crimes in the first half of 2017 spiked 91 percent compared to the same period in 2016, the release says.

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