Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fanatical Terrorists Creating the New Normal

There is no great sport in having bullets flying about one in every direction, but I find they have less horror when among them than when in anticipation.
Umberto Eco

US authorities are investigating if the Boston Marathon bombing Russian American suspect killed in a shootout was a follower of controversial Australian Muslim cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed The family of the brothers are ethnic muslim Chechens

As I try to grasp the significance of the fact that a Chechen named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a member of the ethnic group I have been studying for years at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and writing on for years in scholarly journals (that I have hosted on my website at under Publications), reached out to me to learn about his people, then committed an unspeakable act of terrorism in Boston, I wanted to mention the one thing that is notably missing in this story. The Chechen people. Most Americans know very little about this small Muslim ethnic group. While nothing can legitimize the despicable act of terrorism perpetrated by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, I believe ethnic and historical background might provide some much needed context.
First of all, the Chechens I have met, including the members of the small tight knit community here in Boston, tend to be a rather Sovietized, secularized, moderate Muslims. The ones I know tend to emulate George Washington for freeing the 13 colonies from British oppression. The Chechens dream of the same thing for themselves from their historic nemesis, imperial Russia/Soviet Union/the post-Soviet Russian Federation. Marked Souls ~ Tsarnaev Brothers

We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love.
R. D. Laing