The bombings that shook the Boston Marathon yesterday created waves of grief and sympathy around the globe. The race in itself is noted for drawing in thousands of runners from different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions; exemplifying the beauty of diversity in the United States. Investigations into the perpetrators and their motives are still ongoing.
Yesterday’s events in Boston demonstrated the depravity that humankind is capable of, but in numerous ways showcased our ability to drive out the hate with love, and darkness with light. This was immediately clear through runners crossing the finish line and continuing their run to the nearest hospital to donate blood to victims, and through prayers of support on personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Unfortunately, despite such instances, hatred is something we cannot escape, particularly when it is utilized in a reactionary form. I was sick to my stomach when I saw conservative commentator Erik Rush’s tweet stating:
Despite no nexus between the explosions and a Muslim or Arab, Rush immediately rushed to that conclusion.
On a different spectrum, my Twitter feed was also filled with a different reaction: “Please don’t be Muslim.”
Three innocent people were killed, among them an eight year old boy, and 130 were injured. Guilt, confusion, and anxiety seems to characterize many Muslim and Arab responses following any such event. In addition to grieving and empathizing with their fellow citizens, there is also concern of what is to come next, regardless of what an investigation may turn up.
Meanwhile, other news stories yesterday included the death of thirty people across Iraq in the deadliest day in the country in over a month.
The takeaway: We see and hear of victims of terrorism in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, and Afghanistan every day. The death of an innocent, no matter where, is nothing short of horrifying. Queen Noor said it best,
“As believers we all have an opportunity and moral obligation to recognize our spiritual common ground; to rise above our differences; to combat prejudice and intolerance.”
Terrorism has no religion, and neither does grief. My thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones and all those who have been injured or affected by acts of terror around the world, from Boston to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, and Iraq.