U.S. Muslims mobilize to prevent Boston backlash

Boston Marathon bombingDavid Gibson and Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service, 4/16/2013

No sooner had the reality of the Boston Marathon bombing sunk in on Monday (April 15) afternoon than Muslim activists in the U.S. began sending out a slew of news releases, tweets and Facebook messages urging prayers and aid for the victims -- and condemning whoever was behind the horrific attack.

"American Muslims, like Americans of all backgrounds, condemn in the strongest possible terms today's cowardly bomb attack on participants and spectators of the Boston Marathon," Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement on Monday.

It's a familiar race against time for Muslim groups. Almost as soon as the smoke cleared around Copley Square, they knew from long experience that some would immediately point the finger of blame in their direction.

Many widely believed Muslims were behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, until American militiaman Timothy McVeigh was convicted of the crime.

"We also call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators," Awad added, echoing a statement from the Muslim Public Affairs Council that called on "all of us as Americans to work together to bring those responsible to justice."

Still, conservative columnist and Fox News guest Erik Rush quickly sent out tweets blaming Muslims, adding in one, "Let's kill them," a post he subsequently deleted. (Full article)


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