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Thoughts on the Boston Bombings

sealcookNear Healdsburg California–April 23rd–This has been a difficult week for the United States – especially American Muslims — for it brings back September 9th, 2001.

The two suspected perpetrators of the rampage of Monday April 15th –Massachusetts’ observation of their State Holiday of Patriots’ Day–which killed three (as of this composing) and horrendously maimed scores of runners and spectators at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon came from the predominantly Muslim North Caucus “state” of Chechnya.  Now, during the Imperial and Soviet periods, the peoples controlled by Moscow were russified, and Islam there would be largely unrecognizable to the majority of Muslims today although there is resurgence in the religion since 1989 there.

The accused perpetrators were two brothers, Tamerian Tsarnaey, 26, who in a violent fire-fight with police died the night after the incident, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaey, 19, who survived and, although barely holding unto life, has been charged with two capital crimes. 

They both were admitted into the United States under asylum consideration, for it had been determined previously by American authorities that they may have faced death or bodily harm in their native Chechnya by military forces of the Russian Federation which Federal District is in open revolt from Moscow, but the North Caucasus rebels (the Emirate of Chechnya) deny any  link to the Boston attack declaring that the Caucasus fighters are not waging any military activities against the United States of America…We are only fighting Russia, which is not only responsible for the occupation of the Caucasus, but monstrous crimes against Muslims!..”  I might add that the Chechnyans have not made it a tactical strategy to attack foreigners in the past.

Further, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who is responsible for the most sacred sites of Islam, stated that he condemned the Boston Marathon bombing; further, no religion or morals would condone such an attack. 

There is a good chance that these were two lone “wolves,” and there was a report on American media to that effect (Monday the 22nd), but there is the mystery of one brother who went overseas for a sufficient amount of time recently. 

Further, just yesterday (the 22nd again) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had claimed to have foiled an attempt to blow up a train on its way to the United States which they, presently, attribute to Al-Qaida of Iraq.  Whatever, Takfr elements, which are anathema to normative Islam are operating, but, at the same time, the ugly specter of Islamophobia is, also, unfolding ignorantly in reaction!
I have been corresponding with one of my oldest friends who, incidentally, is Islamophobic.  Because I believe for standing up for what is right, our friendship is slithering away, and I am despondent.  (Let’s identify him as J.)

J. rants on Boston to (Clinical) Professor R., M.D. (emeritus), a most admirable man, whom, — when I first met him at the beginning of his professional career, was serving impoverished Central (Calif.) Valley farm workers — that (i.e., J. states to R. that) “They [Muslims] did this because [of] their religion [Islam] — their prophet [PBUH] – their books – their imams tell them that jihad [this shows J.’s mis-understanding of Islam, for Jihad is more properly spiritual ‘inner struggle,’ and has been usurped by a minor “fundamentalist” interpretation within the faith and Western political scientists as violent resistance] is the pinnacle of religious existence…”

“…my [J.’s] question was – do you think this will get better or worse? You [R.] already know the answer.  I sent it [a prior communication] to honor the dead and injured and…[there will] be more attacks and attempts on U.S. soil…”

Dr. R. was quite philosophically abstract at first:

“[What]is the denominator of [the] statistic[s] you presented?  Without a denominator, you know the numerator has no meaning whatsoever.”  He clarifies later:

Hypothetically, “A Muslim army invades the United States and over 10 years of warfare kills 1.2 million people.  It [the theoretical army] uses guns, bombs, artillery and an assortment of other weapons.  It establishes prisons and tortures America inmates.

“That [this]is no delusion.   An American Army, unprovoked, invaded Iraq and at a conservative estimate killed 100,00 Iraqi civilians – probably 2 or 3 times that. With a population of 31 million, that is equal to 1.2 million adjusted for a US population of 315 million…”  The casualties are proportionally the same. 

We all must come to terms with our own failings in these tragedies. I suspect the roots of the current GWOT (the Global War on Terror) lay in Ronald Reagan’s Administration’s desertion of the Mujahidin during the Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s to a five-prong Civil War instead of instituting a Marshal (-like) Plan of Development which, in turn, led to the raise of the Taliban and their allies, Al-Qaida’s, irregular interpretation of Islam.

Then, J. continues “…there is good old Cook [me] beating his breast and weeping mea culpa and calling what you [R.] wrote ‘healing words:’”

“My dear Dr. R., thank you for reminding me to fight the evil within my own soul!”

(Former) U.S. Representative Denis Kucinich suggestion of a South African-style Commission of National Reconciliation is definitely called for in the States, and looming amongst the subjects should be our institutionalized Islamophobia, and how one act of aggression has led to another act of aggression back to the Crusades and even to the Battle of Tours, 706 C.E. (the Common Era).


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