SF Muslim Community says They Feel Welcomed, Despite Minnesota Mosque Bombing

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The Islamic Center of Sioux Falls has been part of the community for the last 25 years. They say, for the most part, worshipers feel safe and welcome in the area, but they have received a couple threats over the years, which they never take lightly. That’s especially the case after a Minnesota Mosque was bombed over the weekend. Now they’re looking to our nation’s leader for action.

It’s community messages like “know that you are welcomed and appreciated” that Mohamed Sharif says make him and the rest of the Muslim community happy to be in Sioux Falls.

“We have a lot of support from our community here and we are very fortunate to be here and be welcomed here and feel safe here,” says Islamic Center of Sioux Falls Director, Mohamed Sharif.

Sharif says positive messages have been coming in for a while, but he’s noticed even more recently after a mosque was bombed over the weekend just outside Minneapolis. Just before morning prayers on Saturday, officials say witnesses saw someone throw something from a truck or van in the imam’s office at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. Sharif says seeing an attack on the same mosque he visits when he’s in Minnesota is devastating.

“It always saddens us, so any violation of any worship place or any other place, we take it very seriously and it’s a violation of the law,” says Sharif.

Sharif says there’s been an increase in hate crimes and attacks towards Muslim Americans and he hopes President Donald Trump will speak up.

“I’m not saying the president is condoning this activity, but we haven’t seen him condemn this activity either,” says Sharif.

Although Sharif is not concerned that the same thing will happen in Sioux Falls, members of the Muslim community always have to be cautious.

“We want to make sure that our people, our men, women, and children are safe and feel safe coming to our centers to worship and learn about their religion,” says Sharif.

Sharif says they are grateful for the support of the community and law enforcement, for not only keeping them safe but making them feel welcome.

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