Today, as we remember the tragedy that shook Boston, its marathon runners and the nation exactly one year ago, we also recall the resilience by which the nation, as a people, have often united against any form of hate.
As a Boston based media organization, The Islamic Monthly remains moved and shaken by the events of what happened just down the street from us. Our hearts and prayers are with the departed and the survivors, who must still bear the affects of this tragedy everyday. Our first hand reporting of the Boston Marathon tragedy offered a unique glimpse into the events as they were happening with broader analysis in the aftermath. TIM provided coverage from the heart of the marathon bombing site as the city went into lockdown; live reporting from Watertown as the federal authorities were chasing the suspects on the ground; coverage of the hearings; interviews and first hand accounts of the first suspect, a Saudi man, who was accused, then exonerated; investigations into the death of a suspect’s friend, Ibrahim Todashev’s after he was shot while being interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations; a telling interview with Todashev’s widowed wife, Reni; and finally publishing a touching first hand account of a Jewish woman, who ran the marathon to help an organization that helps those contemplating suicide, this, after her Muslim neighbor’s 16 year old daughter took her own life. We’ve discovered the beauty of our nation when finding a means to heal.
Meanwhile, today, and over the past week, we reflect that America, as a beautiful multi-ethnic, pluralistic nation still has a long way to go for inclusivity in the face of hate crimes. Last week’s tragic shooting at a Jewish temple in Kansas at the heels of Passover hits to the heart of every Muslim in this nation, many of whom know the first hand experience of feeling under attack and unwelcomed. It is through our similar collective experiences that we, as a diverse nation, must come together during difficult times and extend a supporting hand. American Muslims, as well as the many minorities before us, be they African American, Jews, Italian, Asians and others, understand what it means to come under attack, fall and rise again. At the same time, we, Muslims, too, must also confront the reality of the origins of some of these crimes and learn to address them.
We believe that continued individual and organizational efforts in promoting better relations among our diverse populations in this country, but also writing about it, reporting on it, covering it, keeping it in Americans conscious, will ultimately succeed in defeating hate and bigotry. The work of promoting peace and tolerance is often slow, difficult, multifaceted work. Media organizations, like TIM, work tirelessly to offer diverse perspectives and opinions and to create dialogues in groups. Many other small efforts are being made at the local and national scale that do make a big difference in the long run.
But we as individuals must remain dedicated to building this nation to make it a better, more open place for all who live here. Yes, it takes time and many hours of work and elbow grease. But we believe that such time and effort is well worth the outcome of creating a safer, happier and more inclusive America.