BOSTON BOMBINGS- Imam ‘praises’ Obama over response

By Majed Iqbal- The Boston bombings earlier this week stepped into a Media Frenzy as the suspected bombers were chased and pursued, with one killed and the other arrested today morning, found hiding.

In the midst of this chaos, the Media in usual fashion became the Judge, Jury and executioner on the story whilst the entire case remained under speculation. Headline grabbing titles like ‘Muslim bombers’, ‘Jihadists’, ‘Islamist’ all began to surface as soon as it was revealed that the faith of the two individuals involved was Islam. Comments like ‘He became more religious’, ‘He didn’t drink alcohol’, and ‘He prayed five times a day seemed to be the detailed analysis being offered by News Channels, Magazines and Newspapers as to why these individuals may have acted out the events in Boston. Not exactly factual reporting but a feeble mixture of speculative comments through selective snapshots of the lives of the two alleged bombers.

Whilst the loss of life on the day of the Boston Marathon is deeply sorrowful, to hold an entire religious community at fault would be entirely unreasonable.

What has been disappointing is the reactionary comments surfacing from Muslims in the US, more specifically Boston, who were quick to condemn the suspects when the case itself has not even been established! So where does the link between the faith of the suspects and the crime they are allegedly involved in come into play? All this whilst both the mother and father of the two suspected brothers have aired their concerns of security services stitching their sons up!

Why are we time and time again feeling the need to write such status updates of condemnation on Facebook and twitter about the Boston issue?? When the case had not even unfolded as being related to Islam, why did Muslims fall victim of feeding into the media hysteria?

Suhaib Webb, the Imam of Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre tweeted

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In response to this a person Tweeted

“it’s one thing to show solidarity with a community facing tragedy, another to laud the oppressor of another community”

Others were also quick to shower issues of condemnation against Terrorism and how the individuals had left the faith as a result of these acts. On one Facebook Status update it read

“Sisters: if you feel unsafe and want to take your hijab off for a few days, that’s between you and God. No one will judge you.”

Whilst sympathy for the families mourning lost ones is fully understood and commendable, the lack of political acumen and tackling the Media frenzied carpet reportage and advice provided to the Muslim Community in the US was not.

Yes, it is important to distance Islam from the scourge of terrorism, but to bring out an apologetic tone every time a muslim name hits the headlines is irresponsible and naive at the least. This in no way means that Muslims should be in-sensitive to the issues that have befallen Boston, but simply a point to articulate that responses need to be more nuanced and meaningful. What is not required is everyone falling over themselves to condemn & prove their “moderation.

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