IN her April 18 Metro column “Grief and dread for Boston Muslims,” Yvonne Abraham sympathetically quotes Imam Talal Eid, who, in the wake of the attack on Boston, wondered, “What will happen to us if they arrest someone and that someone turns out to be a Muslim?” Now that our authorities have arrested someone, and that someone did indeed turn out to be a Muslim, I wonder if I may offer the good imam a considered response: Sir, I cannot guarantee that you will not overhear an uncouth comment made about Islamic terrorism, nor can I guarantee that you will not see children report a religious slur at school. Yet as regrettable as such instances will be for our common community, I can almost guarantee that Muslim Americans will not suffer a terrorist attack in retaliation for the actions allegedly taken by the Tsarnaev brothers.
One of the virtues of our country — a country under attack on Marathon Monday — is that we largely privilege individual character over race, religion, or cultural identification. In contrast, millions of innocent Muslims, Christians, and Jews worldwide live under the credible threat of religious-based violence. Perhaps that should be where Eid focuses his fears.