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Boston bombing: US Muslims react with fear, frustration, and new resolve

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After the suspects were identified, the elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a battle with police, and hours later younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was brought into custody, now being listed in fair condition at a Boston hospital. The suspects’ motives have yet to be fully uncovered, but on Monday, the surviving Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the April 15 attack, which killed three people and injured more than 200. 

Immediately after the attack, the Muslim community’s reaction was swift, evidence of a well-oiled machine spinning into action. Muslim organizations issued statements condemning the bombing and terrorism and organizing vigils, blood drives, and funds for the victims.

Following the all-night manhunt for the suspects late Thursday and early Friday, mosques across the country were on high security for Friday prayer services. Boston’s main mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, took the unprecedented step of closing its doors Friday and urging congregants to remain home, partially because of the lockdown taking place in the area. (Friday congregational prayers are mandatory for Muslim men.)

Still, reports of reprisals spread, with two of the sources reached for this story reporting vandalism and break-ins at their local mosques. Also, as was widely reported in the Muslim press, a Bangladeshi man was beaten up outside a Bronx Applebee’s restaurant. And in Malden, Mass., a man approached a Muslim woman heading with her daughter in a stroller to a play date, punched her in the shoulder, and shouted, “F--- you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F--- you!”

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