Candor Editorial Board
The explosion that occurred at the Boston marathon’s finish line was not that of typical roars from enthusiastic supporters on the sidelines. The unexpected blast on Monday afternoon left three people dead and injured more than 130, according to the most recent update from TIME Magazine. The first blast engulfed the entire area with a gray cloud of smoke, instigating panic, screams and chaos. Several seconds later, a second explosion shook the crowd. The tragedy caught everyone off guard at school; the hallways were buzzing, and some professors halted class for a few moments to read the latest news.
Not all reactions were that of sympathy though. In the very premature minutes after the attacks, news articles chipped in with the possibility of “Islamic Jihadists,” as Pete King phrased it, leaving no doubt in America’s mind the supposed reality of the situation.Conclusions were drawn immediately about who the culprit was behind the attack; the words “terrorists,” “Muslims,” and several other unspeakable words became synonymous under people’s breath (some louder than others). The first reaction of Muslims was simply the desperate hope that the people responsible did not share their religious views that, for once, the fingers were not pointed at them, and for once, people didn’t act disrespectfully in accordance to preconceived notions. But it happened. Although the reaction of the majority of America, including BenU students is expected, especially after the tragic events of 9/11, it still should not be tolerated and rightfully condemned.
Every culture, whether it is the American culture, Arab culture, Asian culture, etc., suffers the brutality of universal stereotyping. However, when it comes to verbally or, in some cases, physically attacking a person simply because their religious background and/or physical appearance, both of which cannot be controlled, and both of which can be used systematically to hurt the reputation of that population, a hate crime becomes a more appropriate word.
The Candor would like to acknowledge the fact that the actions of a person or entity is not and should not be used to exemplify the thoughts and actions of an entire community that may share a similarity, like religion. The Candor would also like to encourage all students to remain open-minded and considerate towards those completely unrelated to the irrational decisions that others have made: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment,” John 7:24. As a Catholic institution and as a school that prides itself for accepting others, BenU needs to approach such underscored discrimination more effectively. Muslims, like other religious people, are just as hurt as anyone else for the victims of the Boston massacre. They too are hurt by the loss of life, they too are hurt by the bombings, they too stand against injustice and oppression on all levels, and the Candor believes that the BenU student body needs to be able to recognize that.
All in all, our prayers go out to the victims and their families and friends of the Boston explosion. Regardless of who was behind the attack, the Candor would like to remind the BenU community to remain respectful and understanding of all entities regardless of what a select few do to undermine their reputation.