When the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, there was panic and terror everywhere. People were crying, scores were traumatized, many got severely injured and three lost their lives including an eight-year-old child.
The pain and grief of the affected people cannot be measured and put into words. It is beyond our understanding the kind of misery the victims must be going through.
The world was in shock. It still is.
Amid this chaos, there was a man at the marathon who probably went there to be a part of the event. Being a 20-year-old in America on a student visa, he must have wanted to explore the festivity and to experience the joy with other people.
But what happened was something entirely different. Since he was a Saudi Muslim he must have heard about the horrors of 9/11 before coming to the United States and the repercussions it had on the Muslim community living there. Little did he know that he was about to live the horror himself.
Already injured by the bomb explosion, the man must have been traumatized. But his fears were far from over. He was caught by the FBI as a suspect.
So he was in America on a student visa, at the site of the bombings, had survived the blast, and above all was a Saudi. Quite conveniently, he was held for interrogation. All the above mentioned facts were sufficient to consider him as a terrorist. But then again, only one was enough to get him into trouble; and that was his affiliation with a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia.
His apartment in Revere Massachusetts was searched while he was held by an investigation team. His roommate, also a Saudi student, watched in horror as “a phalanx of officers from the FBI, ATF and Boston swarmed the fifth-floor apartment”. The poor man said in a news report, “I was five hours with the police. I signed some paper to let them in.”
And then he said, “I was scared.”
THIS feeling of being ‘scared’ is shared by Muslims all over the world. When international media broke the news that a Saudi national was arrested as a suspect, Muslims, especially the ones living in America and the sub-continent went numb for a while. It was their biggest nightmare and it had just taken the form of reality. All the bitter memories of 9/11 and the war on terror were refreshed.
Also, the New York Post reported that the roommate was being held in connection to the attacks, but that was later shown to be a false report. Almost everyone was jumping to conclusions without proper investigation.
We can only imagine how that 20-year-old Saudi must have felt. The man was later released by the FBI officials saying that he was just a spectator who got injured and is more of a witness and not a suspect.
The time period of his detainment was indeed short but it gave off a strong message to the world regarding Islamophobia. The investigation officials were quick to pick him as a suspect because he was a Saudi and was ‘behaving suspiciously’ after the attack. There have been no descriptions yet provided by the FBI as to how exactly he was ‘behaving suspiciously’. It is probably because everyone knows why he was the chosen one.
This incident involving the Saudi suspect proves how Islamophobia has spread in the Western societies. It’s as if the authorities go and look for religion and not for the culprits. Even before the man was caught, there was news abuzz that it might be a Muslim behind the attacks. Such is the situation now for Muslims in the modern world.
Muslims, Saudi, & Iraq is trending & nothing has even been confirmed yet. Stereotyping at its best.— ???? (@dalu3a_93) April 15, 2013
Fox News contributor, Erik Rush literally rushed to the conclusion (which according to him was meant to be sarcasm) that all the Saudis must be arrested without screening. This was stereotyping at its lowest!
Muslims are still praying and will continue to pray until and unless the suspects are finally caught. No one wants to go through the pain of being labeled as a terrorist (yet) again. Muslims, especially American Muslims, have worked quite hard to restore the image of their community in the U.S. for over ten years. No one wants to go through the experience all over again.
I pray to God that those behind the Boston Marathon Bombings are not "Muslims" Because Islam is NOT about hate or senseless violence— A.B.E. (@SudaniSigma) April 15, 2013
I just pray Muslims are not behind the Boston Bombings. Give us all a bad name. I know you're thinking we're behind it.— Aim Espionage (@MaaarvY) April 15, 2013
Bomb goes off, no suspect identified, innocent Arabs & Muslims get targeted. Welcome to America.— Remi Kanazi (@Remroum) April 16, 2013
They blaming the Muslims for the Boston bombing .. What really ? They arrested a 20 year old Arabic guy saying he's the suspect .. ?!???— Cutie Pie(@sharminlovesyou) April 16, 2013
To all that are blaming Muslims for the Boston bombings twitter.com/Aymaniiac/stat…— Ayman(@Aymaniiac) April 15, 2013
What’s your take on the entire situation? Let us know with your comments.