Beliefnet users have, for the most part, maintained an incredibly tolerant spirit. Muslims have expressed their sorrow and fears, and many non-Muslims have reached out to make them feel safe.
"To all Islamic people--I am a Christian who will never descend into the insanity of hating all Islamic people because of the acts of a few. I include all of you in my prayers along with the victims of today's violence in America. I will also remember all the Islamic victims of violence in the world today."
However, we've also received an alarming number of hateful and violent anti-Muslim posts. What follows are excerpts from some of the ones that were deleted. We publish them here because we feel it's important that we all understand how close we are to an anti-Muslim backlash that could bring great shame to the United States.
"DEATH TO MUSLIMS TERRORISTS EVERYWHERE, START WITH THE MOSQUES!!!"
"Islam and its adherents are very much responsible for this. First they murdered Israelis, then they blew up Statues of Buddha, then they arrested and murdered gays and lesbians, then they made Hindus wear special clothing, then they arrested people under suspicion to evangelize. Now Muslims attack the United States. ISLAM like Nazism and Hate is to blame. Death to all Muslims everywhere."
"bomb Mecca and Medina expell all moo slims from the West 2 saudi arabia"
"F-- THE CANDLES, We should nuke Osama Bin Ladin or any country that harbours him, we should then expel or execute every Muslim from the United States."
"THE WTC AND PENTAGON WERE ATTACKED BY ISLAM AND ITS ADHERENTS, DEATH TO ALL MUSLIMS EVERYWHERE!!!"
"You and your Muslim community are the bastards harbouring these terrorist. You use your mosques as Islamic Terrorist funding centers. We should evict you Muslim scum, burn down your Mosques, and then Nuke Mecca and Medina. Islam has everything to do with Islamic terrorism, that is why America should do everything in our power to destroy Islam and Muslims before they can do this type of terrorism again."
"Go ahead you muslim kaffir scum, equate your evil with the evil of others."
"I say we should nuke Mecca and Medina and then bomb Muslim daycares and so we can kill all your Muslim suicide bombers before they grow up. DIE MUSLIM SCUM DIE!!!!!"
"How could you people do this to us??? Will you not stop until everyone who believes in a different religion is DEAD??? Why can't you live with the fact that we are different people with different beliefs??? I've been TRYING to get out of my mind that muslim ppl are not bad, as I have been raised to hate muslims. I didn't really believe that. Until now."
And so on, and so on, with words even more profane and graphic. Such posts only inflame hatred during a vulnerable time. We publish them only to alert users to their potential destructiveness.
To add your thoughts to more tolerant discussions of the issues, click here.