By: Muniba Saleem, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Associate at the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan
On the morning of June 12, as details emerged from a shooting at an Orlando nightclub, Muslim Americans across the country likely reacted with horror, while secretly hoping that the shooter wouldn’t turn out to be one of them. Many had gone through the same roller coaster of emotions after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the San Bernardino shootings.
Muslim Americans have become accustomed to this pattern whenever there’s an attack with a Muslim perpetrator. Media outlets will debate whether or not Islam justifies violence, while sounding alarm bells about the extent of homegrown radicalism. At the same time, politicians and pundits trumpet policies restricting the civil liberties of Muslim immigrants and citizens.