National Geographic News
Two Muslim women observe mountains from a scenic overlook in Colorado.

A pair of Muslim women at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Photograph by Richard Olsenius, National Geographic

Lacey Gray

National Geographic News

Published April 26, 2013

 

When the FBI identified the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects as Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the American Muslim community braced itself for another onslaught of anti-Islamic feeling—a caustic sentiment that has persisted in the country since 9/11.

In fact, the wave of suspicion and accusations had already begun. A Saudi student, injured in the blast, was tackled by another bystander and labeled a suspect by the New York Post. The hashtag #Muslims trended on Twitter, which was also the platform for one of the more incendiary comments from Fox News contributor Erik Rush, who, when prompted by another user if he was "already blaming Muslims," responded: "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all."

American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which issued a statement "expressing deep concern" regarding the negative statements and threats against Arab and Muslim Americans, demanded an apology. When Internet users noted a possible resemblance between one of the bombing suspects and Sunil Tripathi, a 22-year-old Brown University student missing since March 16 (he was cleared and his body subsequently found), news organizations picked up the story without comment from authorities and overwhelmed his already suffering family with interview requests.

Raed Jarrar, communications director for the ADC, hopes physical violence toward Arabs and Muslims after Boston has subsided. Even so, the provocative rhetoric continues, most notably on April 23, when former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh from Illinois recommended that the U.S. begin profiling "our enemy ... young Muslim men." Although Jarrar hopes the detrimental fallout for Arab and Muslim Americans from the bombings is ending, he is not optimistic. "Unfortunately there is a trend in the numbers of Arab Americans discriminated against: Every year is worse than the year before."

According to the FBI, the highest number of anti-Islamic hate crimes was reported in 2001 in the wake of 9/11. That year, 481 incidents were reported, compared with 28 the previous year. In 2002, the number of incidents dropped to 155. The decline was attributable, believes Mark Potok, an expert on extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center, to speeches then President George Bush gave saying that Arabs and Muslims were not the enemies—al Qaeda was. "I think that mattered," he says. Though public figures can influence matters for the better, Potok points out that social media has been a force for the worse, allowing Internet users to "say things, ugly things, that have the potential to reach millions of people. It makes it easier for people to participate in Muslim bashing."

Hate crime statistics for 2013 won't be released by the FBI until late next year, so the consequences of the Boston Marathon bombing for Muslims in America may not be known until then. The thing to keep in mind, warns Potok, is that hate crimes are dramatically under-reported. "And Muslims are among the groups least likely to report."

Potok hopes that U.S. leaders will set the example and speak out. "Barack Obama needs to act soon," he says. "The propagandists move very fast."

30 comments
andy red
andy red

How can we say a religion is evil because of the decisions of some of the followers? Certain individuals have done things profoundly harmful. Some choose to do it in the name of their religion. That does not mean what they did actually speaks to the values and beliefs and practices of that religion.

bit.ly/tokovariasimotor

cintu cha
cintu cha

How can we say a religion is evil because of the decisions of some of the followers? Certain individuals have done things profoundly harmful. Some choose to do it in the name of their religion. That does not mean what they did actually speaks to the values and beliefs and practices of that religion. 


http://usahakecilku.com/2014/06/peluang-usaha-untuk-mahasiswa.html

Bertil Karlsson
Bertil Karlsson

"When the allies found the gaschambers the naziparty braced itself for another onslaught of anti-nazi feeling—a caustic sentiment that has persisted in the country since 1939"

Isa Mehdi
Isa Mehdi

The fusion reactor of the sun has the same system of reproducing energy the way we do on earth the only difference is this earth is losing natural resources too fast due to ignorant modern merchants of life. It is he who the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed sends down light from the dazzling sun. It’s the wisdom that is guiding universe, earth and its life from way beyond our imagination. Sun light transfer practical’s of oxygen into deep ocean life, brain sends electrolyte through sins nodes for biological organs , human soul sends prayers through angles of life for love ones by understanding basic theological evolution of light for life. Written By Ajmal Mehdi

Isa Mehdi
Isa Mehdi

Freedom of media ?

Symbolism of tragedies for blame are paralyzing educators who should teach honesty, justice and humanity not “Hate” once we realize that education and modernization is not part of symbolism, sexism, religion and racism. Then concept of journalism for a journalist will help by imagining an angle working for God to find the truth. Many people are using Islamic names when they are not followers of Islam, they are the reason Islam is being degraded in the world.our greatest enemy is not hostile nation nor ill will but lack of knowledge and love.I wish I could translate my language into English, Rabi has 44 letters and English has 26 to explain human nature. In Rabi Jealousy and hatred are bigger diseases than any bacterial or viral infection because it is mental illness. 2003 Government forced me to sign The Patriot Act just because of name and Pakistan. We need to learn more about Religions and Languages.

http://www.blogger.com/profile/07148233856791957342  

                                                                              Ajmal Mehdi

Isa Mehdi
Isa Mehdi

Freedom of media ?

Symbolism of tragedies for blame are paralyzing educators who should teach honesty, justice and humanity not “Hate” once we realize that education and modernization is not part of symbolism, sexism, religion and racism. Then concept of journalism for a journalist will help by imagining an angle working for God to find the truth. Many people are using Islamic names when they are not followers of Islam, they are the reason Islam is being degraded in the world.our greatest enemy is not hostile nation nor ill will but lack of knowledge and love.I wish I could translate my language into English, Rabi has 44 letters and English has 26 to explain human nature. In Rabi Jealousy and hatred are bigger diseases than any bacterial or viral infection because it is mental illness. 2003 Government forced me to sign The Patriot Act just because of name and Pakistan. We need to learn more about Religions and Languages.

http://www.blogger.com/profile/07148233856791957342  

                                                                              Ajmal Mehdi

Vanessa Ong
Vanessa Ong

I think it's important to keep those last lines in mind - "hate crimes are dramatically under-reported".  Racist ideology is just pounded into everyone's heads (mind you it's often done quite cleverly)...So whether it be overtly violent hate, or not, formally reported crimes, or not...it's there.  Especially when leaders go and ahead and openly say these things:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQh3Nk2LzFc

Something drastic needs to happen in the human mindset...I don't know what but I do know it's necessary.

Heather Johnston
Heather Johnston

I am surprised, though I know I shouldn't be,  to see such prejudice in the comment of this article. I expected better.

How can we say a religion is evil because of the decisions of some of the followers? Certain individuals have done things profoundly harmful. Some choose to do it in the name of their religion. That does not mean what they did actually speaks to the values and beliefs and practices of that religion. 

Get to know some Muslims. They're not all terrorists. 

Yasmin F.
Yasmin F.

you guys have never read the quran, a great majority of you don't know the teachings of your own religion yet you still insist on judging another. people always get mixed up between religion and culture! Islam is a RELIGION of peace, study the books, interact with your muslim neighbours, find out what they're really like! killing muslim as revenge means you're just as bad, even thought it's not their fault. it is proven (on the american government websites) that only 6% of terrorist attacks on american soil are muslim extremists, SIX PERCENT! yet they're still labelled as the most "evil" people on the face of the earth! you guys have no idea what you're talking about but you're so indulged in propaganda that you don't care! learn from each others teachings, find out about each other! I'm not preaching, i'm just stating facts to help get rid of this nonsense!

Nate Whilk
Nate Whilk

According to salon.com, Erik Rush is an "occasional Fox News guest." But contributor or guest, he won't be back.

R. Ottinger
R. Ottinger

Seriously? 'They're evil. Let's kill them all.' ?? That is disgusting.

Mohammad Izzaterd
Mohammad Izzaterd

Everytime I need to console myself with the religions of peace, I just read from the koran and peace comes over me.


Here are my favorite verses of peace from the beautiful Koran:


"And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter..." -- 2:191

"They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them..." -- 4:89

"Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell: They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle - nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning)." -- 7:179

"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies..." -- 8:60

"Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." -- 9:5

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." -- 9:29

"Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens..." -- 47:4

"Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures." -- 98:6


John C.
John C.

Hey, you know what would cause a decrease in anti-Islamic hate crimes?

Fewer Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith

@Isa Mehdi Many people are using Islamic names when they are not followers of Islam, they are the reason Islam is being degraded in the world.our greatest enemy is not hostile nation nor ill will but lack of knowledge and love.


Personal Reflection on Terror Theory- The Mortality Salience - Regards Self or Culture?

http://citizensfirstasnau.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/personal-reflection-on-terror-theory.html

Individual behaviour is formed by culture not the other way around.

It is impossible for the individual to pervert the ethics of the culture, for the individual is defined by the culture. One may consider terror a statistical  outlier (insane person), once a year, twice maybe but  continually each year thousands of incidents? 


Also these Islamic terrorists have been found to be psychologically normal. Therefore they have made a 'rational' observation and reflection of Islamic cultural foundation codex. 'Normal' Islamic 


Terrorists have to obtain their behavioral template from an authorised cultural behavioral construct- I repeat have to.


Face it Muslims as a culture will continue to be responsible for the terror against Other until they move to change their foundation codex construct of Other.


If your cultural foundation codex of whatever sect (textually authorized, imitated and conditioned behaviour) consistently informs terror against Other around the globe what do you expect to happen? Decreased fear of having such a culture in your neighborhood? 


Islomophobia simply therefore does not exist for it is rationally derived fear. This does not make attacks on Muslims in retaliation right as the attacks of Muslims against Other are not right.


Your cultural foundation codex contains terror consistently within the cultural behavioral variance it is the culture which is the threat to Other in the medium to long term not the adherents of it.

John C.
John C.

Exactly which part of that clip do you consider "racist"?

John C.
John C.

@Heather Johnston 

Not all Catholics are pedophiles, just a very small minority were exposed as such. But once that evil surfaced the millions of Catholics who make up the Church loudly and forcefully rejected that evil and took the steps necessary to prevent it from happening again. This is what needs to happen within Islam, a purge of terrorism and intolerance toward other faiths by its self-proclaimed peaceful members.

Wallace Bradley
Wallace Bradley

@Yasmin F. I have read the Koran from cover to cover more than once. I have also read the bible & other books of various religions. I do not belong to any of these religions hence have no preconceived bias. It is the recent history of actions that have created the hatred toward Muslims. The lack of action by moderate muslims to stop this activity that is causing the distrust & hate. If the people of Islam wish to be seen as the peaceful & beneficial religion they wish to be seen as they must take the lead in removing the hateful extremists from today's headlines & replace them with deeds reflecting that peaceful reality. 

John C.
John C.

@Yasmin F. 

A religion of peace. Really?

There are no more Christian churches in Afghanistan. They've all been demolished by Muslims.

Coptic Christians in Egypt are being murdered and terrorized in a modern day pogrom, with the wide spread support of the population and government.

Now that the American "infidels" are gone from Iraq, Muslims have gone back to business as usual, killing each other.

When false rumors spread of a Koran being desecrated the "Arab street" goes berserk, with rioting and murders in its wake. Oddly, when young Muslim girls have acid thrown in their face for going to school, non-Muslims are killed in hate crimes across the Middle East or innocent Muslim women and children are murdered by Muslim suicide bombers, not a peep out of "the street".  

The religion of peace meme would be much more plausible if: a) there weren't so many Islam-inspired terror attacks against innocents, non-Muslim and Muslim and, b) there was mass revulsion and protest against such hate and violence from the peaceful majority of Muslims that we hear incessantly about. 

John C.
John C.

@R. Ottinger

I agree, it is despicable. Speaking of killing an entire group of people, I also find this disturbing:

Hadith Number 6985.


Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

Carol Music
Carol Music

@Mohammad Izzaterd THIS is how you find peace? Darned scary I think and, yes, the same kind of behavior is found in the bible's Old Testament! It's found in all religions - "it's them or us" and the 'them' are destined to spend their eternity in Hell. How can a powerful, all loving God want/make these sort of things happening. We are ALL God's children, and to me that precludes the hate and misanthropy of those who say they are following whatever their holy book says, IMO. That just seems to be forgotten when the fundamentalists of whatever religion they belong to use the written words ONLY as interpreted by THEM! Stop the maddness!

Abdelhamid Cherragui
Abdelhamid Cherragui

@John C. The only difference between you and Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev is that they had a bomb. Both of you think in the same way. 

Quinn H.
Quinn H.

@John C.  Every Religion has extremists. People like you are no better than the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. By blaming innocent people that are just as American as the rest of us we are only doing exactly what the attackers wish for us to do. Think before you speak and before you comment against a people  you most likely know nothing about.

Vanessa Ong
Vanessa Ong

@John C. Well, the grouping of people under a single title "Islamicism" to then villainize the group in terms of "our" security, which 1. creates national consensus against a "homogeneous" group of peoples and 2. in reality Canadian and US relations with these very people abroad are pretty questionable/complex/politicized.. but the US and Canada are presented to be pristine..innocent..

I'm not placing blame on any entire nation/group, I was just showing that there is (obviously) some benefit to be made on Harper's part by saying something like that publicly

Nate Whilk
Nate Whilk

@Quinn H. "Every Religion has extremists." 

That's right. It's the radical Muslims who are the problem. But even average Muslims are afraid to publicly speak out against them, judging by the very few who do.

But tell me about the many times Christian extremists exploded a bomb to kill innocent bystanders specifically in the name of Christianity. 

How many people in the West have been beheaded for witchcraft recently? In Saudia Arabia TWO "witches" have been beheaded since 2011.

 "People like you are no better than the perpetrators of these heinous crimes."

 How DARE you equate his SPEECH to actual murder. YOU are worse than him. The uncle who condemned the bombers' uncle has far more integrity than you.

"Think before you speak"

Kindly take your own advice.

John C.
John C.

Luke 17:3 "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."

There is no prohibition against judgment, just hypocrisy in judgment.

Quinn H.
Quinn H.

@Nate Whilk @Quinn H.

Nate,  

As you graciously pointed out, I admit that some aspects of my comment to John C. were a little extreme, but yours no doubt matched if not surpassed, my comment in extremism. Equating speech to murder, like you said, was probably something I shouldn't have done. For that I apologize, though there is no doubt a correlation between the two. 

I think you took my comment "Every religion has extremists," out of context. I was not saying that the extremist Muslims are the only problem today, I was saying that ALL extremist groups are a threat, be it the Westboro Baptist Church, The Army of God, the Aryan Nation, the KKK, the Black Panthers, etc.(Most of these groups claim to be true  Christians do they not? Didn't some of these groups not commit murder under false pretenses, in the name of Christianity?). I'm not looking to defend Extremist Muslim group, only point out that extremist Muslim groups are just a small part of the whole. They do not represent the whole of the Muslim community any more than the KKK represents Christianity.

By becoming more extremist in reaction to others behaviors we are merely perpetuating our problems. WE need to come together as a nation, ALL OF US, and combat our problems without picking a scape goat to blame.

 In addition, I do not know what they do in Saudi Arabia, nor do i think that their policies should affect what we do here. If you wish to become more like a nation that pursues "witches" then continue the "witch hunt" that you are currently pursuing, or go to Saudi Arabia (if what you say is true) and join in their witch hunt instead of trying to create one here. This Red-Scare McCarthyism is getting old.

I hope that this response was clearly thought-out, and I hope that you do not reply without also first thinking. 

I'm not trying to push my views on you, merely trying to make my points clear. Here is a Bible verse I find particularly enlightening:

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37

P.S. I go to church and listen to the Gospel. I don't usually post on articles because it leads to these types of situations. Gotta love the First Amendment though (ALL of it)!

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