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Indiana Community Rallies around Mosque after Imam Attacked

Around fifty people gathered Friday, August 7, outside a Bloomington mosque, in Indiana, after the local mosque imam was attacked by two young men on his way to the evening prayer.

“My reaction as a white person is not again. Not again,” said Karen Wills, one of the organizers of the Friday event, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

“Couldn’t this just stop? This particular incident of a man having his shoulder fractured is just a ramped-up level of severity of the stuff that’s just going on, day after day after day.”

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According to police, two people assaulted imam Mohamed Mukhtar and left him with a fractured shoulder outside Dar Al-Farooq center.

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Mosque officials say the attackers left the imam with a dislocated shoulder. He received treatment at Fairview Southdale Hospital.

History of Attacks

Dar Al Farooq’s executive director, Mohamed Omar, said the constant discrimination toward the mosque has filled members with anxiety.

“Every couple of months something happens,” he said. “You just cross your fingers that this time might not be a big mass shooting or might not be a big bomb.”

The attack on the imam is not the first one targeting Bloomington Muslim community.

In 2017, a group of men drove from Illinois to bomb the mosque. One who pleaded guilty said they had hoped to scare Muslims out of the country.

Since the 2017 attack, neighbors and other supporters gather outside the mosque during Friday prayers to provide sense of safety.

Muslims also have been doing huge effort to counter hate.

Earlier this year, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) hosted the Challenging Islamophobia Conference.

Held on March, the event, the largest regional conference on challenging Islamophobia in the nation, brought together leading national experts on Islamophobia and community leaders.