But more than 1 billion human beings on this earth are Muslim. If Tsarnaev and other unhinged extremists truly represented most Muslims, there would be multiple terrorist attacks every minute. The truth is that the vast majority of Muslims spend their lives in ordinary pursuits, living as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, doctors, lawyers, engineers, farmers, students and others. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "A person is a person because they treat others as persons." Muslims are simply humans. They, like all of us, are as a group, no better or worse than anyone else.
The news media have thus far exclusively told Americans about people like Tsarnaev – namely, the McVeighs, Mansons, and Capones of the Muslim world. I humbly submit that it is time to tell more Didar Hossein stories – and to identify these ordinary heroes as Muslims.
Amer Z. Aldeen is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University and a public voices fellow with the OpEd Project.