CAIRO – Feeling the brunt of the 9/11 attacks, Muslims worldwide have raced to social media websites to pray that perpetrators of a deadly bombing in Boston would not be Muslims.
“Please don’t be a Muslim,” Hend Amry from Libya wrote on Twitter cited by The Washington Post.Jenan Moussa, a journalist for Dubai-based Al-Aan TV, retweeted the message “Please don’t be a ‘Muslim’” and added that the plea was “the thought of every Muslim right now.”
At least three people were killed and scores injured when two explosions rocked near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 14.
US officials said that there was no information yet available about those behind the attack and their motives.
Yet, Muslims, who still feel the brunt of the 9/11 attacks, were worried that they could be easily blamed for the attack.
“Fact: Terrorism has no religion, race, or nationality. Standing against terror should unite us all,” Nervana Mahmoud, another Twitter user, posted.
Muslim worries maximized after Fox News contributor Erik Rush tweeted that all Muslims should be killed in response to the Boston Marathon bombings.
"Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let's bring more Saudis in without screening them! C'mon! #bostonmarathon,” Erik Rush tweeted on Monday.
When a responder tweeted, "Are you ALREADY BLAMING MUSLIMS??" Rush responded: "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all."
Though he later tweeted that he was being sarcastic, he faced a firestorm of condemnations from Americans.
“Apparently someone at Fox News tweeted "Kill All Muslims" after the explosions. As a Boston resident, and as a human being, I'm disgusted,” Chris Stedman tweeted.
“A Black man kills, he's a menace to society. Muslims kill, he's a terrorist. But a White man kills, he's psychologically unstable,” a twitter user @chrisrockoz tweeted.
Despite immediate worries, some positive reactions from non-Muslims assured the Muslim minority in the US.
“Non Muslims defending Muslims. I was surprised at all the positive tweets. We've come a long way since 9/11. This really is beautiful :'),” a twitter user @dalu3a_93 wrote.
“I respect all the Non-Muslims that understand that Muslims aren't the ones to blame for the bombing,” another twitter user, @Love_Walaa_, wrote.
A Dubai-based social media consultant named Iyad El-Baghdadi tweeted, “Went to my ‘Islamists’ list; good to know that most comments are sympathetic. Only a couple crazies out of 200-something.”
Other Muslims took to Twitter to pray for victims and show support for fellow Americans.
“As a Marathoner and Human being, I’m devastated. Prayers to the victims,” Qasim Rashid, the chairman of the Muslim Writer’s Guild of America, tweeted.
“Whoever the culprit, no religion justifies this act of violence. We must remain united against extremism.”
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to from 7-8 million Muslims.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Muslim scholars have repeatedly condemned terrorism as running counter against the teachings of Islam.
In 2008, thousands of Muslim scholars from across India denounced terrorism as a violation of Islamic teachings, calling it the “biggest crime as per Qur'an."Another Britain-based Muslim scholar, Sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri, issued a 600-page fatwa in May 2011, condemning suicide bombings, kidnappings and the killing of innocent people as “absolutely against the teachings of Islam”.
Related Links:US Muslim Outreach Defy Islamophobia
Stigma Haunts US Muslim Children
Texas Muslims Denounce Terror Plot
Sikh Cabbie Attacked for Looking Muslim
US Muslims Feel Double Betrayal