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Students in Hawaii, although thousands of miles away from the tragedy in Boston, are still shaken and shocked by what’s happening. Many of them say there’s a lesson to be learned.
“It was really frustrating to hear that someone could do such a thing. I just couldn’t believe when I found out it was a young person,” Hawaii Pacific University student Colleen Zaremba said.
On Friday, HPU students prepped for their Intercultural Day celebrations in the wake of the recent deadly events in Boston this week.
“It’s actually really sad they are young. They had their whole lives ahead of them and what was going through their minds,” said HPU student Kirsten Thorton, United Nations Club.
Many have friends and family members in the region and spent the past few days making sure everyone was okay.
“I called all my friends and put posts on Facebook,” Zaremba said.
Some are asking why and how could something like this happen.
“I think a lot of things need to change for something like that to even happen. We’ve created a society that allows for this,” Zaremba said.
“I think at this point we search for labels, but at the end of the day there are two angry, disturbed individuals and I’m not sure it matters what country they are from or what their religion was,” HPU Communications Department Chair John Hart said.
The 19 and 26-year-old suspects were living in Cambridge, Mass. and were originally from southern Russia.
“What we do know about the area they grew up in was a breakaway from the Soviet Union, which is largely muslim,” Hart said.
“A lot of people maybe they blame Muslim. They think a lot of Muslims are terrorists the way people look at me when I am wearing hijab, they look at me like you know something like that,” HPU student Rahampy Kadir said.
A family member in Toronto says one of the suspects recently became a devout muslim. But local muslims say their religion is a peaceful one.
“Terrorism has no religion, it has no race, has not things like that even we are Muslim. It’s Christian or Buddhist, whatever, it doesn’t matter they have to be punished for whatever they do,” Kadir said.