Washington, DC — On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank sentenced two Illinois men for their role in a 2017 pipe bomb attack at the Dar al-Farooq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota. Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris received sentences of 16 years and 14 years, respectively, for their role in the attack. Worshippers were present at the mosque at the time of the incident: thankfully, however, no one was killed. Emily Claire Hari, the ringleader of the “White Rabbit” militia group and the mastermind of the 2017 attack, was convicted and sentenced to 53 years in prison in 2021. McWhorter and Morris were able to receive reduced sentences because of their role in helping convict Hari, and because Dar al-Farooq mosque leaders requested that they be given leniency.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed:
“The conviction of those involved in the horrific bombing of Dar al-Farooq Mosque in 2017 sends an important message that hate will not be tolerated. Anti-Muslim bigotry must have consequences and we welcome this moment of accountability. We thank the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys and specifically Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for diligently pursuing justice for the 2017 attack.
No one should have to live in fear while going to a house of worship or observing their faith. This is particularly salient now, as Muslims around the country gather for dinner or at mosques in-person during Ramadan, many for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this attack is far from a one-off incident, as we continue to see attacks on mosques and even Muslim cemeteries, five years later.
White nationalism and anti-Muslim hate is a serious threat to the nation, especially to vulnerable communities like American Muslims. We find it in the halls of Congress with Representatives like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene who openly embrace the banner of anti-Muslim bigotry. The Trump White House even called the firebombing a ‘fake hate crime.’ The federal government and law enforcement officials must take this threat seriously and step up their efforts to end white nationalist violence.
As Americans celebrate Ramadan, Passover and Easter simultaneously this Spring, we should be thankful for the diversity and unity of our country. White nationalism is a stain and only serves to divide. Just as the 100 Minnesota faith leaders joined in Dar al-Farooq leaders’ call for forgiveness and redemption, we too look forward to continuing our work with fellow Americans of all faiths and backgrounds to end hate and bigotry in all their forms.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.