Boston bombers fail to trigger race war: bigots use Islam to get whitey
WHO to blame for the Boston bombings? Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26? There’s a whole list of reasons here. Writing in the New York Times, Marcello Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco, both of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies know:
The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers.
Blame America? The NY Times has reported:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted to playing a role in the marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260, and told federal agents that he and his brother were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs, when he was interviewed Sunday at the hospital, law enforcement officials said.
They may have been Chechen. They may have been male. But that was not all they were. Their lives were like all of ours: full of small incongruities that build and blend to drive us in different directions. Another thing we think we know about the brothers is that they lived in the middle of one of America’s richest cities, near a gas station. And a retirement home. And an auto-body shop. And a really good cafe that serves homemade ice cream. As a place it is tranquil and gritty, urban and not at all. It is messy and busy and real.
One day, the brothers left it for Boston. And to understand why they did that — to have even a prayer of progressing towards a world where two more young men don’t do that — we have to embrace complexity.
Camille Doodero worries for all the Muslims, whom she portrays as victims:
When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for. As her coworkers frantically rushed to call loved ones who’d been out watching the marathon that day, she was glued to the TV, fearing what she might learn about potential suspects. “My heart was beating fast, just praying that this person didn’t turn out to be Muslim,” she recalled. “I knew that if they were, all hell was going to break loose.”
We get an anecdote from “hell”:
Her concern was warranted. That same afternoon, on the Boston subway, a second-year Muslim student at Northeastern University who wears a headscarf phoned her parents to report her safety; as she spoke to them in Arabic, a stranger pushed her so hard she fell to the ground. Later, one of Anum’s male acquaintances, someone with brown skin, was riding the MBTA when he realized that he was weirdly alone—all the other passengers on his car had moved away from him, as if he was a threat. Two mornings later in Malden, a town of about 60,000 that’s five miles away from Cambridge, a 26-year-old Syrian woman in a headscarf was walking down a main street, pushing her nine-month-old daughter in a stroller, when an angry man punched her in the shoulder, cursed “Fuck you Muslims,” and screamed, “You are terrorists, you are the ones who made the Boston explosion.”
Not nice. Idiots are everywhere. But hell? No. Hell is being a marathon runner called Jeff Bauman Junior who had his legs blown off. Hell is being Bill Richard, whose 8-year-old son Martin was murdered by the bombers. His 7-year-old daughter Jane Richard had a leg blown off and his wife Denise has serious brain in juries. That’s hell.
“I don’t feel comfortable walking through my own city,” she [Hussain] admitted. “I’ve lived on the same four blocks of Boston, right off Boylston Street, for the last four years. And now, all the sudden, I’m afraid to walk them alone.”
But where are the Muslim hating American bombs and riots? Brendan O’Neill writes:
Clearly, some observers fear ordinary Americans more than they do terrorists; they fret more over how dangerously unintelligent and hateful Yanks will respond to bombings than they do over the bombings themselves. But where is this Islamophobic mob? Where are these marauding Muslim-haters undergoing a post-Boston freakout? They are a figment of liberal observers’ imaginations. In the years since 9/11, the American public has been admirably tolerant towards Muslim communities. According to federal crime stats collected by the FBI, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in a country of 300 million people that is a very low number. In 2010, a year of great terrorism panic following the attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in NYC, there were 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes. In 2011, there were 157. To see how imaginary the Islamophobic mob is, consider a state like Texas, fashionably mocked as a backward Hicksville full of Fox News-watching morons: there are 420,000 Muslims in Texas, yet in 2011 there were only six anti-Muslim hate crimes there. It simply isn’t true that mad racist Yanks are biting at the bit to attack Muslims…
…liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid.
That point is epitomised in the Sydney Morning Herald story “Bomb response refreshingly honest”:
…there’s something chilling about realising that this violence might not be something that can be assigned to a demonic other. Maybe we’re speaking in more hushed tones because our own societies might just be implicated.
That, “refreshing honesty” was illustrated by this picture:
In highlighting bigotry, the anti-bigots reveal their illiberal heart…