Generally speaking, it’s hard to picture the people who commit [hate crimes] being particularly concerned whether their victims are Muslim or Sikh or Hindu or Druze or Zoroastrian or anything else—which is how an Indian Catholic and his friend were attacked in San Francisco days after 9/11. Neither would you imagine the people “successfully” targeting Muslims caring what branch of Islam their victims adhere to. Xenophobic violence doesn’t mesh well with informed, realistic distinctions about the different groups of people in the world. To a certain extent this is its point, and precisely why it terrorizes. It emphasizes that strangers who know absolutely nothing about you, your person, your identity, your culture, or your faith are violently uninterested in knowing more—they’re interested in harming you and making you go away.