After two explosions claimed multiple lives and injured more than 100 people at the Boston Marathon Monday, Muslims around the world took to Twitter — some to express their sympathies, others to express their hope that the perpetrator of the attack not be a Muslim.
Libyan Twitter user Hend Amry appears to have been the one to start the thread with her tweet: “Please don’t be a Muslim.”
Her post was retweeted by more than 100 Twitters users including the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Jenan Moussa, a journalist for Dubai-based Al-Aan TV also retweeted Amry’s message, adding that she was simply stating “the thought of every Muslim right now.”
Some of the tweets may also be fueled by reports earlier in the day alleging a Saudi Arabian national may be a suspect in the attack and is currently being guarded by police. Those reports have not been confirmed, but several national and local outlets are reporting that to be the case.
That message was then forwarded more than 200 times according to the Washington Post.
Nervana Mahmoud, another Twitter user, posted the following message in response: “Fact: Terrorism has no religion, race, or nationality. Standing against terror should unit us all. #BostonExplosion #BostonMarathon.”
Other tweets noted that members of the Muslim community have been sympathetic aside from “a couple crazies.”
WaPo noted that Dubai-based social media consultant Iyad El-Baghdadi tweeted: “Went to my ‘Islamists’ list; good to know that most comments are sympathetic. Only a couple crazies out of 200-something. #BostonMarathon.”
“Whoever the culprit, no religion justifies this act of violence. We must remain united against extremism,” tweeted Qasim Rashid, chairman of the Muslim Writer’s Guild of America and a self-described marathon runner.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that head of a Jordanian Salafi group said he is “happy to see the horror in America” after the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
“American blood isn’t more precious than Muslim blood,” said Mohammad al-Chalabi, who was convicted in 2003 for his role in an al Qaeda-linked plot to attack U.S. and other Western diplomatic missions in Jordan.
“Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there,” he said soon after the attack.
Meanwhile, the “please don’t be a Muslim” tweets continue to abound on Twitter: