Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center

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Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center
CountryUnited States
Geographic coordinates44°51′17″N 93°15′52″W / 44.8547°N 93.2644°W / 44.8547; -93.2644Coordinates: 44°51′17″N 93°15′52″W / 44.8547°N 93.2644°W / 44.8547; -93.2644

Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center is a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States.

On August 5, 2017, Emily Claire Hari (known at the time as Michael Hari), Michael McWhorter, and Joe Morris of Clarence, Illinois detonated an improvised explosive near the mosque, which damaged the structure but no one was hurt, in an effort to scare Muslims into leaving the United States. McWhorter and Morris pled guilty to crimes relating to the attack and Hari was convicted of several crimes in a 2020 federal trial.[1][2]


The mosque first opened in 2011, when the Dar Al Farooq Center purchased a building that had previously been the site of Northgate Elementary School and Concordia High School.[3] The building that now houses the mosque was also sometimes used by a Lutheran church.[4]

2017 bombing[edit]

On August 5, 2017, at about 5:00 a.m. local time, an improvised explosive device detonated near the mosque, damaging an imam's office and sending smoke throughout the building. No one was hurt in the explosion.[3][5]

Mark Dayton, then governor of Minnesota, denounced the attack as "an act of terrorism" during a visit to the mosque.[6] President Trump and the White House were silent on the attack,[7] but presidential advisor Sebastian Gorka suggested it may have been a hoax orchestrated "by the left."[8][9] Hundreds of community members gathered at a soccer field near the Islamic center on August 8 in a show of solidarity with Muslim Americans. Jewish and Christian faith leaders, locals, state officials, and U.S. Senator Al Franken were all in attendance.[10]

On March 13, 2018, the FBI announced the arrest of three suspects in connection to the bombing. The suspects were identified as former sheriff's deputy Emily Hari (known at the time as Michael Hari), 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe Morris, 22, all of Clarence, Illinois. McWhorter stated that the motivation behind the bombing was to "'scare [Muslims] out of the United States'...because they push their beliefs on everyone else."[11] The three were arrested on charges of possession of a machine gun.[12] Hari had connections to the Three Percenters, a far-right, antigovernmental militia.[13]

After a five-week federal trial, a jury in Minnesota on December 9, 2020, convicted Hari of five separate charges relating to property destruction and threats of force against the free expression of religious belief.[14] Hari was identified by authorities as the mastermind of the bombing. She had recruited McWhorter and Morris, who were less educated and in financial distress, to help carry the attack McWhorter and Morris pled guilty to crimes relating to the incident, accepting the possibility of 35 years in prison, but hoped for sentencing leniency after testifying against Hari at her trial.[1] On September 13, 2021, Hari was sentenced to 53 years in prison.[15] Prosecutors asked for a 50 percent reduced sentence for McWhorter and Morris for their cooperation in the case against Hari. On April 12, 2021, McWhorter received a 15-year prison sentence and Morris received a 14-year prison sentence.[16]

First Amendment controversy[edit]

In 2019, the city of Bloomington passed an ordinance that forbade filming students of Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in a public park which led to a successful lawsuit in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit against the city to re-instate the first amendment rights of the parties involved.[17] Keith Ellison had priorly asked the court to drop the case.[18]


  1. ^ a b Mannix, Andy (December 10, 2020). "Illinois man found guilty of bombing Minnesota mosque". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  2. ^ Mannix, Andy (August 23, 2021). "Mosque bomber now identifies as a woman, says right-wing blogs fueled "inner-conflict" leading up to attack". Star Tribune.
  3. ^ a b Montemayor, Stephen (August 6, 2017). "FBI: 'Improvised explosive device' caused blast at Bloomington Islamic center". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Du, Susan (August 1, 2016). "Bloomington mosque-haters petition city to stomp down on Dar al Farooq". City Pages. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Chuck, Elizabeth (August 5, 2017). "Bomb blast shakes Minnesota mosque as worshipers prepare for prayers". NBC News. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Bromwich, Jonah Engel (August 7, 2017). "Minnesota Governor Calls Mosque Attack a 'Criminal Act of Terrorism'". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  7. ^ Lahu, Jake, "Trump's silence on Minnesota mosque attack prompts criticism", Politico, August 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Fang, Marina (August 10, 2017). "Trump Adviser Suggests Minnesota Mosque Attack Could Have Been Faked 'By The Left'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  9. ^ AP, "Ellison Calls on Trump to Condemn Minnesota Mosque Bombing". The New York Times, August 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Ansari, Talal (August 8, 2017). "Hundreds Gather In Solidarity With Muslim Americans After Minnesota Mosque Bombing". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "3 Illinois men charged in Bloomington mosque bombing". Star Tribune.
  12. ^ "3 arrested on gun charges suspected in Minnesota mosque bombing". Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  13. ^ Sankin, Aaron; Carless, Will (March 16, 2018). "Who are the Three Percenters?". Reveal News. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  14. ^ Levenson, Michael (December 10, 2020). "Militia Leader Is Convicted in Bombing of a Minnesota Mosque". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  15. ^ Ibrahim, Mohamed; Forliti, Amy (September 13, 2021). "Militia leader gets 53 years in Minnesota mosque bombing". Associated Press. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  16. ^ "2 men sentenced for 2017 mosque bombing". KSTP-TV. April 12, 2022. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  17. ^ "Fight over filming kids outside Bloomington mosque heads to court".
  18. ^ "Federal Court Strikes Down Local Law in Minnesota That Forbade a Woman from Photographing Kids Near Mosque and Park". September 3, 2021.