U.S. news is very good at bringing attention to many tragic events of terrorism, such as the shootings in San Bernardino and Paris. The frequent coverage allowed us to mourn the deaths and injuries of those involved, as well as sparked compassion for the families of the victims. We were able to feel some of the tragedy, even though most of us were not there to experience it. And in many ways this national outpouring of compassion has been a rallying point for our common humanity.
But it’s equally important for the news (and our compassion) to include all of the individual tragedies that Muslim-Americans in the U.S. are currently going through in the wake of these mass attacks. An article in Salon details some of the many acts of hate that are being perpetrated against innocent Muslim-Americans. The list is horrifying, including arsonists lighting a California mosque on fire, a man in New York beating a deli owner, and a Muslim woman being shot at as she tries to leave a mosque in Tampa, Florida. All these events and many, many more have happened within the past few weeks alone, marking a deeply upsetting uptick in anti-Muslim violence.
These awful reactions don’t seem to be getting nearly as much coverage as they deserve. Some public officials, such as U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach are doing their best to speak out against these shameful acts, and letting community members know about the ways that marginalized groups are protected by law. But we need more of this; we need more people to know about what is happening and to condemn it for the bullying, bigoted response that it is.
It’s up to us to care just as much about the hate attacks on innocent Muslims as it is to care about the victims of other terrorism, whether the perpetrator is Christian, Muslim, atheist, or anything else. To do anything less, to say that some people’s suffering doesn’t matter, is failing the very foundations upon which our nation was formed.
Image Credit: Spencer Platt / Staff via Getty Images
Stefani is a writer and urban planner based in Oakland, CA. She holds a master’s in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University. In her free time, she is often found reading diverse literature, writing stories, or enjoying the outdoors. Follow her on Twitter: @stefanicox