In light of the information being uncovered on the suspected Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ties to extremist Muslim cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed, it will be fascinating to see how the editors at the Boston University student newspaper handle future op-eds.

Their piece, It’s blatant racism, was published shortly after the initial explosions.

Just after the second explosion, marathoners, onlookers and those who were injured but still mobile ran as fast as they could from the smoke. A 20-year-old student ran from the blast, his leg bloodied but still usable. An onlooker then tackled him to the ground, effectively conducting a citizen’s arrest amid the pandemonium. The vigilante told officials that the man looked suspicious. The reasoning he gave was that the man was running from the explosion and looked Middle Eastern.

It is amazing and horrifying that police searched his home within hours of the attack with two K-9 units. Officials brought all of the “suspect’s” belongings in paper or evidence bags. Police even “questioned” his roommate. The New Yorker wrote in an article on Wednesday that the roommate eventually told authorities, “Let me go to school, dude,” and proceeded to break down. The only bit of evidence the police had that gave them the agency to ransack a man’s home and demand answers from another man was that the “suspect” was Saudi Arabian.

This further perpetuates a culture of hatred toward people of Middle Eastern descent. Citizens of the U.S. cannot equate terrorism to Islam. Look at the Oklahoma City Bombings or the Atlanta Olympics. Even think about the Newtown Shooting. None of those events included a Muslim terrorist. People must know that Muslim, Islamic and Middle Eastern is not always followed by the word “terrorist.”

It appears as if authorities responded to a citizen’s accusations against another, but amid the chaos, were unable to evaluate such claims in favor of helping the countless injured elsewhere. So, as a precaution, the accused became a “person of interest.” It could be true that that the vigilante saw something suspicious, more than the solely student’s race. In a time of crisis it is by no means a bad idea to take precautions and point out potential suspects, but there was no rationale behind apprehending a Saudi Arabian because he was running … because everyone was. It was fear that moved this vigilante, and that fear is blatant Islamophobia.

…The public must understand that not all “terrorists” are from the same region or culture, and that not all people from one region or culture are “terrorists.” It could’ve been anyone.