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28-year-old man should now be on a watch list or face prejudice. It’s a nonsensical, prim
itive argument. Yet one that elites in powerful positions repeat, even though they should know better.
The trope that all Muslims are somehow predisposed to violence or terrorism is dangerous an
d wrong. Most Muslims — particularly immigrants — keep their heads down, want a quiet, pea
ceful life and want to stay out of trouble. I know this because I am Muslim and know our community. We are not out to c
ause trouble. We don’t come to “invade”; we come to make a better life for ourselves.
We run your convenience store, drive your cabs, feed you late-night food when you’ve had a drink or look after you when you’r
e ill. We serve our communities. Yet we have become the victims of harassment, hatred and now terrorism.
Attacks — verbal and physical — on Muslims are par for the course. But society doesn’t seem to care. Our lives and p
ain don’t seem to matter as much because we are seen as second-class citizens or “bad people.”
I wept Friday on “CNN Talk,” thinking about the sadness of it al
l. It has been a dark day. But if there is any light, it was the outpouring of grief from people of all
backgrounds around the world who sent in messages of solidarity and kindness. If we can take one lesson from the
horror of Christchurch, we have to stop this hate and see Muslims as human beings, just like anyone else.
At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in two mass shootings at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
The victims: Forty-one people were killed at the al Noor mosque. Seven people died at the Linwood mosque, and one person died from their injuries in hospital.
The suspect: Police said a male in his late 20s has been charged with murder and will appear at the Christchurch court Saturday morning local time.
The manifesto: In a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a l
ink to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. The manifesto was not signed.
National security advisor John Bolton expanded upon the White House’s statement on the
attack on New Zealand mosques, which he characterized as “what seems to be a terrorist attack” and a “hate crime.”
Bolton said the US is “very concerned” and is following the events “very closely.”
“We’re obviously greatly disturbed on what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand. We’ve been in touch
with our embassy overnight, we’re still getting details, but the State Department and others are following up on it.”
Bolton continued, “We’re very concerned, we’re going to cooperate with New Zealand authori
ties to the extent we can if there’s any role we can play, but we’re obviously following the events there very closely.”