Jihad and Tamerlan Tsarnaev

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Andrew Sullivan argues that the Boston bombings orchestrated by Tamerlan Tsarnaev were clearly an act of Islamic jihad:

One reason the Miranda rights issue is not that salient is that the evidence that this dude bombed innocents, played a role in shooting a cop, shutting down a city, and terrorizing people for a week is overwhelming and on tape. And yes, of course, this decision to commit horrific crimes may be due in part to “some combination of mental illness, societal alienation, or other form of internal instability and rage that is apolitical in nature.” But to dismiss the overwhelming evidence that this was also religiously motivated — a trail that now includes a rant against his own imam for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. because he was not a Muslim — is to be blind to an almost text-book case of Jihadist radicalization, most likely in the US.

….We see the sexual puritanism of the neurotically fundamentalist. We have his YouTube page and the comments he made in the photography portfolio. To state today that we really still have no idea what motivated him and that rushing toward the word Jihadist is some form of Islamophobia seems completely bizarre to me.

Please. Just stop this. What we know about Tamerlan Tsarnaev is that he was (a) Muslim and (b) enraged about something. Was he enraged, a la Sayyid Qutb, about the sexual libertinism of American culture? Was he enraged about perceived American support for Russia against Chechen rebels? Was he enraged about American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Was he acting on orders from a foreign terrorist group?

We don’t know yet. Yes, there’s plainly evidence of his growing Islamic extremism over the past three years. But if there’s anything we’ve learned over the last week, it’s that jumping to conclusions on this stuff is foolish. Our natural curiosity isn’t a good enough reason to rush to judgment about Tsarnaev’s motivations. Just wait. There’s no harm in it. We’ll find out soon enough.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate