Editorial: Treat Muslims with respect

As the country begins to return to a sort of normal functioning this week and narrows its search for the terrorists who perpetrated Tuesday?s attacks, it is important to remain respectful toward Arab and Muslim Americans. Already, many have suffered a backlash of threats and minor attacks due to a minority of people who want to blame them for Tuesday?s tragedy.

It is important that we, as educated future leaders of the community, lead the way to the road to peace and tolerance. Through our examples, hopefully we can counterbalance the ignorance and intolerance that has begun to creep into America?s neighborhoods and religious centers.

This past week and weekend, the Muslim and Arab communities have come under fire for what is increasingly seeming like an attack perpetrated by known terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Whether he actually is the man responsible or not for Tuesday?s tragedy, all Americans of every nationality and faith should realize that the actions of a few do not reflect the actions of the majority.

All Muslims should not be punished for such actions. Furthermore, should bin Laden be found not to have committed these acts, Americans will feel only more shame for having jumped to conclusions.

It is important that we all remain united in our stand against terrorism and hatred. We should support our Muslim and Arab community and offer them comfort in knowing they will not become victims of a nation?s grief.

To do otherwise would only increase the tragedy that has unfolded in the past week by showing America?s ability to be hateful and vengeful in a time when unity and tolerance are needed.