Boston Tragedy Reminds Us to ‘Love Our Fellow Man’

I would like to begin by expressing the absolute deepest condolences to the victims of the tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon this past Monday. I do think it’s important to keep in mind that the victims of this horrible attack are not just the three people who were killed.

Reports from the media indicate those injured were found with nails and ball bearings embedded in their skin, and many have had limbs removed. Whoever detonated those bombs, which as of this writing is still unknown, clearly is a disgusting individual who intended to break American morale. The struggle of these victims to continue their lives after this kind of bodily mutilation is an immense tragedy within itself that cannot be understated.

An attack like this is like an earthquake. It’s a very long drawn out effect, but it’s deliberate, and every aftershock is well calculated. We know where they’ll hit and we know what damage they will do but we don’t prepare for it. The aftershocks and aftermath is almost just as devastating as the initial occurrence.

There is a fear that manifests itself amongst many American Muslims when these kinds of incidents happen. It’s not something we talk openly about. But it’s there. The first response I get from any Muslim I speak with is, “Well, I hope it wasn’t one of our idiots.”

I will admit that was one of my first thoughts too. It all left me in a kind of haze. I stared blankly at the floor and didn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t as upset as I was.

I’ve been checking all the major news sources regularly to see who they will detain as a suspect. An early report stated that a Saudi man was being held as a possible suspect in a hospital where he was being treated for injuries. The FBI later denied the allegation, stating that he was being treated as a witness. But then, they also asked him for permission to search through his apartment. It’s these kind of gray situations that justify the fear that’s felt after these kinds of attacks.

A report from FOX 25 in Boston stated Tuesday that a plane was turned around and two men were removed from the plane for speaking Arabic. The two men weren’t sitting next to each other, the source states.

“There were some concerned marathoners on the flight so the plane was brought back to the gate and the two men were escorted off the plane,” FOX 25 reported.

Conservative columnist Erik Rush caused controversy when he sent out a tweet advocating the killing of Muslims in response to the attacks. He since stated that his response was “sarcastic.” Despite the “sarcasm,” Rush has since been tweeting about how the idea of a peaceful Muslim is a “lie”.

“And where are all these “peaceful” Muslims and dhimmis when the U.S. is berated by Imams or attacked? Celebrating, that’s where. #tcot #sharia,” Rush tweeted.

Many posters on social media have been outraged by Rush’s comments, and have expressed sympathy for the Muslims targeted by Rush’s statement. Something that is always true in life is the average person is decent, and you can find that any place in the world.

John Howard Griffin often noted in his memoir “Black Like Me”, in which he went to the Jim Crow South disguised as a black man, that many of the White southerners he met expressed almost a sense of shame when they refused service to him. And that’s because it’s hard for a human being to reject what makes them whole. It is hard for us to hate each other.

What I intend to identify here is that there is a subconscious game of nerves that goes on after these kinds of incidents that puts everyone on edge, some more than others. There is a community in this country that is “dying of a thousand cuts,” as the saying goes. They aren’t the only community, and this is not the first time this has happened, but it’s something worth looking at.

I ask everyone to pray for the victims of this terrible attack and do something small for your community. Within all of us lies the best of humanity, and the worst, and the purpose of terrorism is to bring out the darker side of our being. Call your mother, feed the homeless, donate something to your favorite charity. Just don’t give in to blind hatred, because that is how they win.

User Inkslave on Reddit professed he is not a Muslim but felt compelled to visit his local mosque after the attack. He asked the men there late at night if there was anything he could do to help. With tears in his eyes his friend Walid shared the story of the eight-year-old child who was killed in the attack. Inkslave offered to sit outside and guard the mosque overnight, but Walid rebuffed his offer. Someone else had already volunteered to keep watch.

“There was probably a time when two white males parked in a Crown Vic up the street would not have been a comfort for the members of the Islamic Center. But last night they were. I rolled past them, not looking over, slow enough for them to get my plate with ease if they hadn’t already. Then I went home and cried for the little boy.”