The Washington Post tried to turn the camera lens around on the violent Tsarnaev brothers. Their arrogant liberal assumption: the real question is what this says about us backwards Americans, not about the bombers. The headline in huge type was “Who do we think they are? The answer says a lot about who we are.”
What we are, apparently, is a sad gathering of “Islamophobes,” because the story is a collection of quotes from Muslim activists and authors who tweeted “please don’t be a Muslim” and feared that Muslim assailants would spur Americans to practice “discrimination or retaliation or shame.” Even after the Tsarnaevs were found, the Post reported “Brown Muslims” were relieved:
Embedded in the misunderstanding [of Caucasian Muslims] is the stereotype that to be a Muslim, one must be a darker-skinned person of Middle Eastern descent.
Asra Nomani, a Muslim writer [and former Wall Street Journal reporter], noted that some members of the larger Muslim American communities with Middle East or South Asian roots expressed relief when they saw photos of the accused bombers.
“‘Brown’ Muslims were like, ‘Whew, it’s not one of us,’?” she said. “And then people felt that would protect Arabs or Indians or whomever from being targeted. It’s like a sigh of relief.”
That “Brown Muslim” quote was put in bold type inside the Style section. The first paragraphs of this mass psycho-analysis by reporters Krissah Thompson and Michelle Boorstein suggest that apparently, Americans can’t evaluate who the Tsarnaevs are without satisfying some deep psychological need to police our “in-group” boundaries. It began.