In the wake of the Boston bombing, Muslims are pointlessly taking the brunt of the blame
Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001, fear has continued to grip the American populace through the threat of terrorism. More importantly, an almost uniform idea of who these dangerous terrorists are has taken shape in the popular mind of the American people.
If you were to ask Americans who is more likely to be a terrorist or what they are more likely to look like, the image is nearly universal; a Muslim or someone who looks Middle Eastern.
Obviously, Islamic extremist groups have planned and carried out attacks against the United States on American soil in the past. Al Qaeda, the name everyone knows and fears was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Muslims from within the United States have also planned attacks such as Nadal Hasan at Fort Hood.
In spite of the popular notion of terrorism coming from Islamic extremists, most acts of terror in the United States are actually done by groups much closer to home. Most Americans would simply dismiss the notion that the more likely person to be a terrorist is actually a white Christian male. You can turn a blind eye if you like, but that’s the reality.
Since 1995, 56% of the acts of terrorism committed in the United States were committed by right-wing (Christian) individuals or groups. Only 12% of terrorist acts were committed by Muslims and Muslim groups. Would anyone like to know how many agents the Department of Homeland Security has investigating right-wing extremist groups? One, I’m not joking in the slightest.
Statistically, In America you are more likely to be killed by a Christian terrorist act than a Muslim one. In fact, the most recent acts of terror were committed by right-wing Christians, not Muslims. Right-wing terrorism has been on the rise since 2008, though it often goes unreported as “terrorism.”
Whenever a white Christian commits an obvious act of terror in the United States, the media often reports these incidents as “lone-wolf scenarios” and they label the terrorists as “crazy.”
Nothing political is ever referenced about why they did what they did. However, when a Muslim commits a similar act, the media over hypes it and instantly calls it terrorism and labels the terrorist as such. When a Christian commits a terrorist act, the act only represents the individual that commits it, not his religion. When A Muslim commits a similar act, the act represents all of Islam.
As the situation is unfolding now in Boston, the right-wing spin machine is already framing this attack as a Muslim one (without any proof) and the rest of the media seems to be going along with it. From the day the bombing occurred, the right has blitzed the airwaves in an effort to frame Muslims as the terrorists.
When the attack and the bomb type are discussed in newspapers or on the internet, it is always referenced that this type of bomb is used by Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists. However, the instructions for making the bomb can be found all over the internet and has been used by non-Muslim groups (IRA, ETA, Shining Path) in the past.
This is how Muslims in America become associated with terrorism, even if it turns out the act was committed by another group for another cause. This attacker could turn out to be another white Christian, but by then it’s all irrelevant. The media at large has already framed the event by constantly equating terrorism with Islam, which the mainly Christian populace of the United States is all too willing to buy into.
No one knows who is responsible for the Boston Marathon Bombing. Yet that is not stopping the right-wing and anti-Islam elements of America from pinning the blame on Muslim terrorists. Could Muslim terrorists have committed the bombing? Of course, anything is possible at this point.
That doesn’t mean we as a society need to place undue blame when all the facts aren’t in yet. Out of respect for the victims of Boston and for our system of law, we need to be patient and not place certain blame on anyone before we know what actually happened.