Sarah Kendzior: “Did Boston carnage have its roots in Stalin’s ruthless displacement of Muslims from Chechnya decades ago?” asked The Daily News, a question echoed by the National Post, the Washington Post, and other publications that refuse to see the Tsarnaevs as anything but walking symbols of age-old conflicts. Blame Stalin, the pundits cry, echoing the argument made every time something bad happens in the former Soviet Union. Blame Stalin, because we can pronounce that name.
In one sense, this sentiment is not new. American Muslims have long had to deal with ignorance and prejudice in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. “Please don’t be Muslims or Arabs,” goes the refrain, as unnecessary demands for a public apology from Muslims emerge. This week made it clear that it is Muslims who are owed the apology. After wild speculation from CNN about a “dark-skinned suspect,” on Thursday the New York Post published a cover photo falsely suggesting a Moroccan-American high school track star, Salah Barhoun, was one of the bombers. “Jogging while Arab” has become the new “driving while black.”