We don't have any official confirmation yet whether or not the two brothers who Boston Marathon bombers are Muslim or not. There are many reports, though, and already anti-Muslim statements are being made. Today I am praying for my Muslim friends. Because I know they are afraid.
The majority of Israelis and Palestinians want to see a two-state solution between their two peoples. And with the United States energized to lead, now is the time for Americans to support John Kerry's fresh approach.
Justice will be done if you punish a guilty individual per the law of the land, but blaming intangibles like his community and religion does not serve justice. Rather, it aggravates the cohesiveness and hurt everyone in the process.
In times like this, I do not want to renounce everything Arab and Muslim about me, but I do want to embrace without reservation the part of me that is American by birth and upbringing.
Emotions are high right now. We are angry. "Who would do such a senseless act?" We want answers. We want to direct our anger at someone. For all Americans, it made sense that there was a Saudi person of interest, albeit for a short period of time.
There have always been fringes in every group that will kill for their cause, but we rarely extrapolate beyond their group membership to make generalizations based on religion, ideology or color. But if we find out tomorrow that the bomber was a Muslim, then I don't think we can say the same. And that's a problem.
Each new incident represents both a need and a fresh opportunity to say the same things over again: We're all in it together; there is no "us" versus "them"; Muslims and Americans are not each other's enemies; the fact that terrorism is wrong does not excuse bigotry.
I weep for the families and friends for those immediately affected and for those whose lives and memories have forever changed. But I worry, especially after incite-ful rumors that automatically point the finger at (an) international terrorist(s), who, is/are in the imaginations of those easily deluded, brown-skinned.
With tension building on both shores of the Gulf, the stakes are high for regional governments as well as the international community as they could threaten shipping in the Straits of Hormuz as well as create domestic turmoil in both the Gulf states and Iran.
What the hype over European Muslims fighting in Syria overlooks is that Westerners have been volunteering for what you can call "jihad" in foreign lands for centuries.
While there is significant speculation about the meaning of the date and location of yesterday's horrific terror attack at the Boston marathon that killed 3 and injured over 170, physical evidence will yield some of the most important clues. One of the most important clues is a bomb's signature.
The simple fact is, we don't know who did this, and speculating if Islamic terrorists did this is not only untrue, but hurtful to the Muslim community and any progress in religious tolerance we've made since September 11th.
Today hurt me both as an American and as an American Muslim. But it also presented us all with an opportunity.
I believe such casual use of "I-am-praying-for-the victims-of-xyz" cheapens the more intense practice of prayer performed with zeal. It's true for most religions. According to Islam, prayer is like melting your soul. You focus. You persevere. You cry. You believe.
Mass terror can be inflicted just as easily, maybe even easier, by the withdrawn, delusional kid next door as a foreigner sneaking into the country bent on mayhem and murder.
Among those partaking in Indiegogo's services is the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. They are using the platform to raise money for another batch of anti-Muslim ads.