Controversial

Minnesota Governor Calls Attack on Mosque 'Criminal Act of Terrorism'

Why hasn't Donald Trump condemned Saturday's terrorist attack against the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in suburban Minneapolis?

MINNESOTA— Worshippers at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, were shaken with terror Saturday when a bomb exploded as they prepared for morning prayer. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blast but an Imam's office was heavily damaged.


The mosque which primarily serves the Somali community is no stranger to threats. Mohammed Omar, the executive director of the center told the Star Tribune that he routinely receives hateful phone calls and e-mails from people who think the mosque's present is harmful to the community.

"[they say] that we shouldn’t be here, that we are a burden to the community," he told them.

The FBI took over the investigation and is working with local authority to identify potential suspects and motive for the blast, which they believe was caused by an "improvised explosive device."

The bombing which was called "a criminal act of terrorism" by Minnesota governor, Mark Dayton, takes place at a time when anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise in the United States. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations,  discrimination against Muslims has gone up during the 2016 campaign and has continued to rise after Donald's Trump election. Just last week, a Muslim cemetery was vandalized in Dakota Country, Minnesota.

Many social media users took to twitter to question Donald Trump's silence on the attack as well as some mainstream media outlets' reluctance to call it a terrorist attack.

 

Trump who has since tweeted calling out "fake news media outlets" and leaks,  has yet to comment.

Mosque officials have started a GoFundMe page in an effort to rebuild the parts of the community center and mosque that have been damaged in the blast.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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