Imagine being an Arab or Muslim citizen in the United States. Every time a terrorist attack happens you would immediately be a suspect in the eyes of some.
Now imagine the horror of Salah Marhoum, a 17 year old student, seeing his and a friend’s picture plastered on the New York Post with the headline:
“Bag men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”
The Post later reported that the two were not in fact suspects, but young Salah now lives in fear:
But Barhoum, a track runner at Revere High School, said he is convinced some will blame him for the bombings, no matter what.
He said he was so fearful on Thursday that he ran back to the high school after a track meet when he saw a man in a car staring at him, talking into a phone. He said he won’t feel safe until the bombers are caught.
“I’m going to be scared going to school,” Barhoum said. “Workwise, my family, everything is going to be scary.”
Barhoum’s father, El Houssein Barhoum, who moved his family from Morocco five years ago, said he is worried his son will be shot and fears for his wife and two young daughters. He said he can’t go to his job as a baker in Boston.
“Right now, we are not secure,” he said. “So, the news (media), when they put something, they should be sure about the information.”
The true suspects have been caught or killed, but I suspect Salah will be watching his back for some time, just like countless other Arab and Muslim Americans.