Photo Courtesy: New York Times (for non-profit, one-time-only, academic use.)
I express my sadness, frustration, and anger on such cowardly terrorist acts, and offer my sympathy for those who were hurt. Thank God, nobody lost their life.
Then, we talk about Islamophobia and Immigrant Bashing.
Every time something like it happens, it automatically makes people even angrier against immigrants and especially Muslim immigrants. People start calling names, and refuse to be in any discussion, any dialogue, or any debate.
Some media flare up the sentiment, and profit more. I am sure tomorrow’s papers will be flooded with sensational, front-page stories, with zero substantive discussion about the immigrant communities. In fact, immigrant communities will continue mistrusting one another, and even more.
I am also sure people like Trump of USA and Modi of India do not mind that hiked-up hatred, to win more elections, exploiting the anger. Misplaced anger also diverts attention from other real-life issues, such as money, jobs, education, health, environment. Violence on women and children. Police brutality. War. Gun violence.
It works so well! They have done it over and over again.
Yet, based on reports today, this idiot named Akayed Ullah, who blasted the bomb at Port Authority today lived in Brooklyn, and was from Bangladesh, and I know literally hundreds of Muslims from Bangladesh living in Brooklyn and New York. I live here. I work here.
I have no doubts in my mind that this nut represents a small, miniscule number of nuts, and the vast majority of immigrants — Muslim, Hindu or Christian, with papers or without — do not believe in violence. They believe in peace. They condemn violence of any kind.
Let us not divide ourselves even more, and fall prey to the traders of bigotry and hate.
Let us come together. Let us live in harmony and peace.
Brooklyn, New York