Source: Star Tribune
On March 14, 1999, the Star Tribune reported that U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota inspected the ruins of the mosque that was destroyed on March 5th. "As an American Jew, I feel strongly about this because we've experienced the same type of hate crimes. We don't know exactly what happened here, but it feels like that," Wellstone said. The fire gutted the mosque and the adjacent Islamic Cultural Community Center in Minneapolis. Police and fire officials have suggested that the fire may have been set to cover up a burglary, but the Muslims in the community are not convinced because only a TV and a VCR were stolen. As area mosques try to absorb the displaced worshippers, the American Muslim Council is filing a report with the Minnesota state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, calling the fire a hate crime.