Sorting Through the Responses to the Boston Marathon Bombings

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

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?

Category Four: Insightful Analysis of the Role of Religion

Category Five: Parody

Category Six: Less Insightful Analysis of the Role of Religion

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.


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