I cried a lot during the week of the Boston Marathon bombings. Now that the immediate crisis has ended, I’m crying for the future.
I cried when I read that Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, opened a Senate hearing on immigration with a comment that when we find out the immigration status of “people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, . . . it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system” (“Immigration hearing turns to bombing,” Page A7, April 20). If the suspects had been native-born Americans, would we be suspicious of other native-born Americans?
I cried again when I read Imam William Suhaib Webb’s justifiable concerns that the identification of the suspects “will open the door to the Islamophobic industry . . . to attack Muslim communities” (“Islam might have had secondary role,” Page A19, April 20). If the suspects had been Protestants, would we be suspicious of other Protestants?
Let’s mourn our losses and celebrate the many acts of heroism and kindness that we witnessed this month from people of many different faiths, colors, creeds, and national origins. Let’s turn our tears into action, and work to avoid a backlash against immigrants and Muslims.