28-year-old man should now be on a watch list or face prejudice. It’s a nonsensical, prim
itive argument. Yet one that elites in powerful positions repeat, even though they should know better.
The trope that all Muslims are somehow predisposed to violence or terrorism is dangerous an
d wrong. Most Muslims — particularly immigrants — keep their heads down, want a quiet, pea
ceful life and want to stay out of trouble. I know this because I am Muslim and know our community. We are not out to c
ause trouble. We don’t come to “invade”; we come to make a better life for ourselves.
We run your convenience store, drive your cabs, feed you late-night food when you’ve had a drink or look after you when you’r
e ill. We serve our communities. Yet we have become the victims of harassment, hatred and now terrorism.
Attacks — verbal and physical — on Muslims are par for the course. But society doesn’t seem to care. Our lives and p
ain don’t seem to matter as much because we are seen as second-class citizens or “bad people.”
I wept Friday on “CNN Talk,” thinking about the sadness of it al
l. It has been a dark day. But if there is any light, it was the outpouring of grief from people of all
backgrounds around the world who sent in messages of solidarity and kindness. If we can take one lesson from the
horror of Christchurch, we have to stop this hate and see Muslims as human beings, just like anyone else.