Shortly following the bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15, thousands of Muslims rushed to social media in hopes of the perpetrator not being a Muslim.
“Please don’t be a Muslim,” wrote Hend Amry, a Libyan Twitter user. Her message was retweeted by nearly 300 other users, including many high profile journalists.
This was similar to the outcry after the Libyan Embassy attack in 2012, when Libyan families gathered outside the embassy and in Tripoli, carrying signs with messages of support for the United States. It was also similar to the outcry following the Oikos University shooting, when Korean Americans hoped that the shooter wasn’t Korean American.
In times of tragedy such as these, it’s important to support each other. The Boston Marathon bombing didn’t just affect Bostonians, it affected all people, and we share that weight together.
It is also important to remember that, while there may be a few ignorant commenters who associate the actions of one with the group they claim to represent, most people are more understanding. Most people realize that these are the actions of one or a few deranged individuals and don’t represent an entire community. When offering your condolences, don’t be ashamed.
Divest the perpetrator and support the victims, but don’t be afraid of who the villains are. They don’t represent you or your community.
Children receive their identity from their parents, and when a child sees an adult worrying about whether an evil person calls him or herself Korean American, or Muslim, or whatever have you, it harms their identity. It makes them dislike who they are and where they came from.
What happened at the Boston Marathon was a horrible tragedy, and when the person or persons behind it come to justice, it will not matter what their race, ethnic background, or religion is. What is important is the understanding and support that we show each other, and the global community’s strength to carry on. (end)