He Seemed Like Such a Nice Boy.

Well, it’s not exactly news at this point that they finally got the guy responsible for the Boston bombings.  They managed to capture him alive, too, which impresses me.  Now we might be able to get him to reveal to investigators exactly what the hell motivated him to do what he did.  This is what BBC has on him and his (now deceased) brother:

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (courtesy of BBC)

  • Sons of Chechen refugees from the troubled Caucasus region of southern Russia
  • Family is thought to have moved to the US in 2001, from Russian republic of Dagestan
  • They lived in the Massachusetts town of Cambridge, home to Harvard University
  • Dzhokhar, 19, was awarded a scholarship to pursue further education; he wanted to become a brain surgeon, according to his father
  • Tamerlan, 26, was an amateur boxer who had reportedly taken time off college to train for a competition; he described himself as a “very religious” non-drinker and non-smoker

The “very religious” part, based on all accounts, means they’re both Muslim.  The older brother was much more religious than the younger … with this being cited to highlight the contrast:

On his VKontakte page, Dzhokhar lists his world view as “Islam” and follows several pages devoted to the topic. He also lists one of his favourite songs as Hey Sexy Lady, by Shaggy.

On the surface, there really doesn’t seem to be any sense to why Dzhokhar did what he did.  His family and friends have all said the same thing:  he was a nice, friendly, sociable kid with a promising future.  Personally, my gut tells me that the older brother managed to break him a little bit … just enough to plant some ideas into his head.  But hey, there’s a reason why I’m not a criminal profiler; we’ll find out soon enough so the speculation can finally stop.

During the last few days, there was another tragic event unfolding … the entire population of Muslims who have managed to integrate themselves into peaceful, secular society and live productive lives smacking their hands against their foreheads and muttering, “Aw, shit.  Here we go again.”

Obviously, they’re just as upset over the attacks as everyone else.  However given the events of the last decade or so, the sick feeling in their stomachs upon witnessing the explosions was a combination of empathy for the victims and the collective hope that PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE A MUSLIM THIS TIME.  ANYONE BUT A MUSLIM.  Now that it’s been revealed that he is, we start seeing shit like this happening again:

Malden resident Heba Abolaban said she and her friend, both wearing hijabs, were walking with their children on Commercial Street when a man forcefully punched her left shoulder and began shouting at them.

“He was screaming ‘F___ you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F___ you!’” Abolaban remembered. “Oh my lord, I was extremely shocked.”

Some things never change.  This is especially sad, too, considering the utter outpouring of support and sympathy coming from the Muslim community, some of whom are living in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.  Speaking of which, there was a bomb attack in Baghdad on the same day as the Boston Marathon bombings.  In that particular attack, 27 people were killed, but there were others throughout the country that took more lives and injured hundreds.  Seems to me that we should be paying a little more attention to other parts of the world when they come under attack if they show this much sympathy when it happens to us.

On a lighter note, I saw in the news that the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory took a tag-team photo of the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation of Orion:

Cross your eyes. I know you want to.  (The left is infrared, the right is visible light.)

So, at least I can feel good that some things in this world are moving forward, even if we have to be looking light years away to accomplish it.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Profiles in Fundamentalism, Religion and Public Life, Religion in the News, Science Marches On and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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