Pat Robertson, of television evangelism fame, was the most famous, but hardly the only person who assumed, based on nothing, that Muslims were responsible for the attacks at the Boston Marathon. Robertson spoke about how his thoughts and prayers go out to the people harmed by the terrible attack in Boston, and then dropped this totally unnecessary presumption (emphasis mine):
But to think that somebody would be so vicious, so evil as to want to kill little children, and maim families who were there rejoicing in a sporting contest on a beautiful day in Boston, it just makes you sick at your stomach. Don't talk to me about religion of peace, no way.
No, he doesn't say "Muslim" or "Islam" but make no mistake, that's who Robertson is talking about. In this clip here (at :48), Robertson says,
"Y'know folks, Islam is a violent religion. It's not a religion of peace, they say that, it's been told, President Bush said it's a religion of peace, that's nonsense."
Despite the fact that every religion commits acts of terrorism, and that acts of terrorism are not always based in religion, and despite that we know nothing whatsoever about who committed the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Robertson simply assumed it was a group of Muslims.
Sadly, he wasn't the only one:
Muslims blew up the boston marathon... ppl lost arms & legs..... they made that shit into the "special olympics"— Johnny Sanchez(@JohnnySanchezJS) April 15, 2013
I bet muslims caused the explosions at the boston marathon— Raphy DeCarlucci? (@Rd30Hockeyy) April 15, 2013
Illegal Muslim Fraud ObamaMuslims thank Obama for Boston Bombingsapi.ning.com/files/bM1pkdMs…— True Patriot (@jjliberty) April 16, 2013
Fortunately, for every tweet I saw like the ones above, I saw at least ten reacting to the reflexive anti-Muslim reaction. Here are a few highlights from those:
If you think muslims did the Boston attacks, go get kicked in the nuts by a donkey then jus plank on the ground and stay there...— Light-Skin-Brown Guy (@ZaahidtheGreat) April 16, 2013
Anybody cussing muslims saying terrorist blew up boston open your eyes if you're quick to hear what the media tell you you're ignorant— Beans On Toast™ ? (@CharlieLCollins) April 16, 2013
Wow I cannot believe all the blame Muslims are getting from the Boston attack....How ignorant can someone be?— amby ? (@Ambydearest) April 16, 2013
Reason is winning in the media, in general, but there are still plenty of bigoted nutcases, and the best thing we can do with them is to mock them until being a bigot isn't fun for them anymore.