Image: Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy radical whose website inspired Tamerlan Tsarnev
The last few days have seen a plethora of analyses of the Boston Marathon bombings. Some have been insightful, others hateful. Hey, I even did one. Basically, there’s too many analyses out there to really read all of them – so we here at God Is Sometimes Great have done it for you, breaking down each response into a convenient subcategory, and even offering a bit of commentary. No need to thank us – just doing our job.
Category One: The Aftermath
- Gawker: What It’s Like to Be A Muslim in Boston Right Now : Not good.
- According to the HuffPo, Muslims See Little Backlash After Boston Bombing : I guess that’s kind of good news. But you know, there still were three hate crimes, and as the Gawker article mentions, a lot of stereotype threat. Still, it’s clear that America is not France, in this respect.
Category Two: Why and How Did This Happen?
- Because of some Armenian convert to Islam named “Misha” who radicalized Tamerlan. Some people think this dude is entirely made up by the Tsarnev’s uncle. Actually, he’s real, but it’s unclear if he has any relationship to the bombings, or if this is merely the family’s mother trying to cover her tracks.
- “Internet Jihadism” was most likely a big inspiration for Tamerlan.
- Regardless, it’s clear that radical Islam gave Tamerlan a sense of purpose in his life. It also clearly divided his family, estranging him from the very people who could have kept him from turning violent.
- He was also into the American far-right conspiracy site InfoWars, which says a lot of really interesting things about the portability of extremism.
- He was prone to annoying outbursts at the local Mosque and once berated the Imam for praising Martin Luther King.
Category Three: What Should We Do?
- Al Sharpton: Not do racial profiling: I actually agree with Al Sharpton about something. Still mad at you about supporting Sharpe James, Al. Cory Booker 4evah!
- Glenn Katon: Avoid the Stereotype Trap: Despite conservative insistence that stereotyping works, it doesn’t. Despite Peter Kings’ insistence that the NYPD’s spying program has worked, it has produced zero leads…according to the NYPD.
- Loonwatch: Chill out, don’t foster radicalization.
Category Four: Insightful Analysis of the Role of Religion
- Religion Dispatches Bloggingheads (Anthea Butler and Sarah Posner): Was the Bomber a ‘Devout’ Muslim?: And what does ‘devout’ mean, anyway? Who gets to decide what devoutness constitutes? Isn’t an inherent part of devout-ness not blowing people up unless you’ve got a real good reason to?
- Ivan Stenski: “Internet Islam” and it’s Role in the Bombing
- Mark Juergensmeyer: “Don’t Blame Religion”
Category Five: Parody
- Huffington Post: Jihad, Crusade, and Our Marathon Race Against the Neuron Bomb: The premise is that over 20% of terrorists were students, therefore we must eliminate all students. Actually, that’s pretty much the only funny thing about this article.
- The Onion: “I Guess When My Brother said, ‘Let’s Bomb the Boston Marathon’ I Should Have Said No.”
Category Six: Less Insightful Analysis of the Role of Religion
- They hate our freedom: Yeah, I’m pretty sure no terrorist has ever said that they hate freedom.
- No Muslims should ever be allowed here ever.
- Wearing a Hijab Should be a Crime : So says Ann Coulter, who is maybe actually the worse person ever.
- We need to be able to criticize Islam: Because a time of intense sectarian hatred is the best time to assert your right to rip on a religious minority. I mean, come on, you’re writing for the Jewish Journal! You should know this shit by now.
- It was an inside job.: According to congresswoman Stella Tremblay. Why exactly the government would benefit is unclear but Obama is a socialist nazi, amirite?
- A photoshopped fake “Coexist” sticker on the hijacked car made a lot of right wingers very happy.
- Also, a fake story shows pictures of Muslims “dancing in the streets” (David Bowie style?) that are actually year-old pictures.
- Basically, everything that Fox News does ever.
Final thoughts: I don’t think this story is over. Between “Misha”, the strange figure of Uncle Ruslan, and Tamerlan Tsarnev’s weird obsession with both radical Islam and American right-wing website, there’s still a whole lot more information to come out.