27 April 2013
In the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, many Americans focus on *why* it happened. It seems to be human nature to try to find the cause behind these types of events and, when any information is found, then attempt to use that knowledge to prevent any future incidents from taking place. Unfortunately, more often than not the “Why?” question leads down a path to an emotional response and bigotry rather than rational solutions.
This line of thinking can also be dangerous and may infringe on the rights of those who are in no way connected to the event. In this case, the first news to come from an official source said the act was religion based, and that the bombers identified their religion as Islam. Before this news even came to light, the right-wing extremists had been calling the attack "a pretty safe bet .. that this attack was carried out by an Islamist.” This sparked outcries from many left-leaning liberals of “Islamophobia” and racism, some justifiably so. However, the two groups caught up in these remarks from both sides are peaceful Muslims who want to distance themselves from this violence, and anyone who speaks out against Islam in a more civil, factual tone. Look at some of the writings of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins and at the responses they have received. Simple statements or questions, based on facts such as Islamic traditions teaching that the Prophet Mohammed flew on a winged horse, have elicited the “Islamophobe” response. This exaggerated, ill-used retort does nothing to counter any logical statements, but only serves as an attempt at discrediting an otherwise valid, logical point. Meanwhile, moderate Muslims are caught in a wave of ridicule and hyperbole from right-wing fundamentalists.
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