Largest Muslim Community In The U.S. Responds To Boston Marathon Bombings
A Muslim community leader in Dearborn, Michigan, which is home to the largest Arab-American community in the United States, is speaking out in response to the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that took place earlier this month.
Dr. Kassem Charara of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge says while he denounces any support of the bombings which were carried out by two members of the Muslim community, he also calls for peace and an end to violence against the innocent Muslims living in America who constantly face backlash in the wake of tragedies that they were not responsible for.
via The Grio
Dearborn, a city of nearly 100,000 people that borders Detroit’s west side, is home to the country’s largest Arab-American population by proportion, with 41 percent of the city’s population being of Arab descent. Dearborn is in many ways a typical American city, with the only discernible difference being many of the storefront signs are written in English and Arabic.
The city becomes a focal point whenever acts of terrorism occur, regardless of the perpetrator. The city’s political and religious leaders quickly got out in front of the fear and denounced the bombings and honored those who were injured and lost their lives.
“Let there be no mistake that we all condemn this senseless act of violence,” said Dr. Kassem Charara, chairman of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, during a vigil held for the victims last Saturday. “By the same token, we should condemn the killing of innocent people anywhere in the world. There should not be a double-standard when we’re dealing with terrorism.”
Muslim community leaders across America are also taking a stand against the media and government officials whom they say aren’t helping to stop injustice and hate crimes against Muslims by inaccurately reporting on developments and facts surrounding the bombing.
When it was revealed that the two primary suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were Muslim, many of the wounds opened by 9/11 became fresh again for Arab-Americans and Muslims across the country. There have been isolated incidents around the country of ethnic intimidation and physical assaults of Muslims following the bombings, and the mistakes made by the national media during the coverage did not help matters.
“It’s a long term process that needs to take place in cutting down social acceptability of these statements in the media and by politicians,” Walid said. “That’s not to say people won’t continue to make those comments under the veil of social media.
“Social media has desensitized people and they have gotten cyber space courage where many times in the general public, people wouldn’t say certain things but with the anonymity of cyber space, they can make outrageous comments.”
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