A Muslim’s Prayer for the Boston Marathon

bostonFirst of all, it really does not matter who was behind the multiple explosions at the Boston Marathon. This is because my thoughts and prayers are solely with the victims and the families of those people who were affected by this horrific attack in Boston.

Although to be completely honest, when the news first started breaking in media outlets around the country about the explosions, I joined several million Muslim people in America thinking exactly the same thing:

“Oh God…Please don’t let it be a Muslim…”

As a Muslim, as an American and as a member of the human race, my heart continues to break as we continue to learn more about the multiple explosions near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, which has killed at least 2 people so far and injured over 110 people during the late afternoon hours.

But then again, I also remember feeling the same way during the breaking news of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut as well:

“Oh God…Please don’t let it be a Muslim…”

Also in July 2012, as we began to hear the stories of the Dark Knight mass shooting massacre inside of an Aurora, Colorado movie theater where 12 innocent people were murdered with over 60 people injured, I also remember thinking the same thing:

“Oh God…Please don’t let it be a Muslim…”

Even though it was two white dudes (Adam Lanza and James Holmes) who were ultimately responsible for these two acts of terrorism (yes, even white dudes can commit terrorism), the majority of American Muslims always seems anxiety-ridden that any future act of terror will be committed by a brown dude with a Muslim-sounding name and lead to another vicious chapter of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crimes around the country.

As recently noted by Max Fisher in The Washington Post: “People in the Muslim world are often keenly aware of the American reflex to associate bombing attacks on U.S. citizens with Muslim extremists. A certain routine has emerged, in which some Muslims seem compelled to make clear that they denounce the violence and consider it a violation of Islam — often even before the attacker’s religion is determined.”

But based on facts and reality, we Muslims are not being paranoid. For example, a FOX News contributor named Erik Rush wasted no time by going on Twitter right after the Boston Marathon explosions to state that Muslims “are evil…Let’s kill them all.”

Please tell us how you really feel, Mr. Rush.

If the perpetrators end up being Muslims, then this collective anxiety will indeed increase again like we have seen in recent American history during the last decade.

No matter the religion or race of the perpetrators involved in this heinous attack, people of all faiths should unequivocally condemn these acts and our American neighbors should know that the thoughts and prayers of this American Muslim and millions of other Muslims around the world are with the people of Boston tonight.

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    Arsalan Iftikhar

    Arsalan Iftikhar is Senior Editor of The Islamic Monthly magazine

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