New York City is an extremely resilient city. Shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning, a pipe bomb explosion took place in the New York City subway. The bomb only partially exploding, but injured five and sent panic throughout the city. Akayed Ullah, 27 and a resident of New York City, was allegedly acting alone and informed authorities that the attack was in retaliation for United States’ military airstrikes on ISIS in Syria. There are conflicting reports about Ullah’s allegiance to ISIS, but authorities say that he was inspired by ISIS publications online.
Witnesses described the effects of the attack as a sharp ringing in the ears and a painful headache. Authorities have stated that the bomb was a low-tech explosive device that Ullah had strapped to himself using Velcro and plastic ties. It remains unclear whether or not the bomb was detonated prematurely.
However, these attacks should not be used as reasoning to defend discriminatory policies or excuse the otherization of Muslims.
In the aftermath of the attack, many Muslims are faced with questions that never get easier to ask. What this ISIS related? Did he claim to be Muslim? How is the media going to frame this story?
America, and the rest of the world, needs to be a safer place for all of us. The tragedies of this year have left some in shock while leaving others pessimistic. However, these attacks should not be used as reasoning to defend discriminatory policies or excuse the otherization of Muslims. We wait in anticipation for the day when a White, non-Muslim terrorist is not afforded the unfair privilege of being excused as a “mentally ill lone-wolf,” for a day when we will not be seen as terrorists simply for having Brown skin, “Arab” features or Middle Eastern clothing.
Muslims are sandwiched between two very disagreeable options…
Terrorists don’t belong here, or anywhere, but Muslims belong just as much as anyone else. Conversations on terrorism and the issues surrounding it will always be a path that is trodden carefully, perhaps the time will never truly be “right” for talking about such heavy and controversial things. While it should not have to be our job to constantly defend ourselves as “good people” and “true Americans,” it has seemingly become our responsibility to the dispel ignorance that not many others are willing to undertake. Muslims are sandwiched between two very disagreeable options: fighting to prove ourselves as decent human beings in order to remain in the United States, or continue to face the unbridled Islamophobia that is perpetuated by our silence.