Everyone saw that coming. Islamophobic rhetoric was inevitable as soon as it was announced that the FBI and law enforcement agencies had started looking for suspects responsible for the horrific Boston Marathon explosions.
Obnoxious anti-Islamic and Islamophobic statements from hate-mongering right wingers like Pamella Geller, Peter King, and Glenn Beck etc were more or less expected. Let’s analyze them one by one.
Republican Peter King said on Saturday, “It is time to recognize the real threat to the United States that comes from Islamic Terrorism which means law enforcement must keep a heightened focus on Muslim communities.”
Notorious Islamophobic blogger Pamela Geller wrote a blog (in a hurry) following the arrest of a Saudi national who turned out to be a witness later. Geller wrote, “Jihadi Arrested in Horrific Boston Marathon Bombing.”
And last but certainly not the least; Erik Rush was probably one of the first media personalities to initiate anti-Muslim rhetoric after the explosions. He tweeted that all Muslims in the world deserve to be killed.
It is so disturbing that these people, who are mostly associated with media in one way or another, quite conveniently connect a particular religion and a country to terrorism. To be more precise, they have a habit of connecting Islam and Islamic countries and followers with terrorism. They do not use facts because they deem it unnecessary when it comes to loss of life. No doubt that loss of human life is more important than mentioning statistics but it becomes important when the reputation and status of a community and religion is at stake.
To label all Muslims of the world as terrorists, or to say that all Muslim-populated countries are abodes for extremists is wrong. No, it is downright ignorant.
And to say that America’s greatest terrorism threat comes from Islam/Muslims is greater ignorance. This statement is not just ‘all-words-and-no-facts’ like the right wingers like Geller and Beck. You can find on the FBI’s official website that there exists a chronological list of all terrorist attacks committed in the United States from the year 1980 all the way to 2005.That list can be viewed here.
According to the statistics, 42% attacks have been committed by Latinos, 7% by Jewish extremists and 6% by Islamic extremists. If we were to tag religion and countries according to this data, then a lot of stuff Geller and Peter King are saying would turn out to be bogus.
Latinos not Saudis would be the most potential terrorists and Judaism not Islam would be a more violent religion.
But then again, the point here is to not create any terrorist labels or associations but to destroy this detestable tradition once and for all.
Adam Lanza killed elementary school children and killed himself. It was said that he had a troubled childhood. Anders Behring Breivik in Norway killed almost 70 people in 2011 and he was diagnosed with a personality disorder and sent to an asylum. When James Holmes killed more than 10 people in 2012 Aurora shooting he was also deemed to be a lunatic who wasn’t sure of what he had done.
Most of the criminals mentioned above were discussed in the mainstream media as ‘people with troubled pasts’. There was a hidden element of empathy. They were not associated with any religion or country.
Then why does it happen that each time a bomb goes off an entire community and religion is targeted? Terrorism or violence doesn’t have a religion. Because, if it does have one, then the FBI statistics of terrorism activities suggest that there are greater forces capable of terrorizing America other than Islam.
A person deeds cannot be associated with a country or a religion. This is a fact that needs to be put forward and discussed again and again. No one holds Germany responsible for what Hilter did to the Jewish community. Then why label Islam or Muslim-populated countries with acts of terrorism? Is it fair? Is racial or religious profiling correct?