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Boston Explosions: 'Please Don't Be Arabs or Muslims'

Boston deals with the aftermath of marathon explosions. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Boston deals with the aftermath of marathon explosions. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Writing for Al-Jazeera, Khaled A. Beydoun says that he's been preoccupied with the identity of those responsible for the bombing and what it could mean for American attitudes.

I texted my friend at 7:47am EST, extending well wishes for a "successful and prosperous race". Like the 23,181 runners who left Hopkinton dreaming about breaking the ribbon 26.2 miles away, my friend signed up for the 117th Boston Marathonexpecting anything but two bomb explosions waiting for him at the finish line.

I instantly thought of my friend who ran the Marathon upon learning of the explosions. However, concern for loved ones was superseded by a distinctly Arab and Muslim-American psychosis: "Please do not let the culprit be Arab or Muslim."

This fear still grips me while writing the article, and certainly raced through the minds of most Arab and Muslim-Americans. That gut-wrenching anxiety and debilitating concern, borne out of the implicated guilt that follows every modern terrorist attack from World Trade Center I to Sandy Hook, emerged into a collective Arab and Muslim-American psychosis. Indeed, it may typify best what it has come to mean to be Arab or Muslim-American.  

The knots in my stomach tightened with preliminary reports from the New York Post that Boston Police had seized a "Saudi National". In a media nanosecond, "Muslims" was trending on Twitter, additional news providers corroborated the reports, and the hatemongering ensued.

Conservative columnist, Erik Rush, stated: Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let's bring more Saudis in without screening them! C'mon!


Read Khaled A. Beydoun's entire piece at Al-Jazeera.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


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