New York Review of Books Sympathizes with Jihadists

New York Review of Books Sympathizes with Jihadists

The latest edition of the New York Review of Books includes a 4,076-word piece sympathetic to the Boston jihadists who built bombs designed to rip through flesh and bone. In “The Bombers’ World,” Christian Caryl sets out to normalize the unthinkable and justify the savagery that claimed three lives and left many with missing limbs.

The article is an example of the pathology of the left’s obsession with justifying violence directed toward America or any other country that shares our values and the lengths to which they will go to exonerate Islam and deflect attention from the real root cause.

Caryl paints jihadi murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Tamerlane was a vicious 14th century jihadist warmonger) as “a man who was the lodestar of his family.” Caryl tells us that “in 2009, he was briefly arrested for physically assaulting his then girlfriend. That spot on his record probably had a part in the subsequent delay in the decision on his application to obtain US citizenship, which then prevented him from competing in a crucial boxing tournament after the sponsoring organization changed the rules to ban noncitizens from participating.”

An ex-girlfriend said Tamerlan beat her for dressing like a typical American; this is in accordance with Islam’s honor code and the Qur’an’s command to beat disobedient women (4:34). But the only thing Caryl laments is how this prevented Tsarnaev from “competing in a crucial boxing tournament.” Caryl also speaks about the Islamic notion of honor without ever mentioning its true wellspring, Islam, or the violence or the killing that comes with it: 

Traditional Chechen culture places a high value on family ties, and the defense of collective “honor, which is regarded as vested in the women of the clan, is a high priority. A family friend told me a revealing story from a few years back. Anzor learned that his older daughter, Bella, had been seen in the company of a boy during her junior year of high school. The father deemed this unbecoming behavior, and so he kept the girl at home, out of school, for so long that she was denied credit for the school year.

Keeping a girl out of school is cruel. Making light of it is crueler. Murdering her for honor is cruelest of all, and it’s all too common in Muslim countries, many of which have relaxed penalties for honor murders. But Caryl never mentions any of that, although he does add that “by tradition, it’s up to the family’s eldest son to enforce the rules for his siblings, so Tamerlan was dispatched to teach his sister’s would-be wooer a lesson: he found the boy and beat him up.”

And still Caryl is clueless and/or complicit about how this “charming” boy could possibly turn into a monster, and yet any rational thinking person sees only a monster. He writes, “As ominous as these details might appear in retrospect, they don’t necessarily indicate a predisposition to terrorism.”

Caryl never mentions Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s alleged involvement in the murder of three Jewish boys on September 11, 2011–the tenth anniversary of the Islamic jihad attacks on America. 

Instead, Caryl sets about to exonerate the other bloodthirsty brother, Dzhokhar. He quotes a Tsarnaev family friend: “‘My brother is telling me to be more Islamic,’ Baudy recalls Dzhokhar saying. ‘Before [Dzhokhar] wouldn’t pray. But then he did. The only reason Jahar started to was because he lived in the same house and they told him to.'”

If my brother or sister told me to slaughter people, I would never do it. Would you? But if it were Dzhokhar’s faith that dictated that he slaughter people in the cause of advancing the belief system, his behavior becomes more understandable.

But then Caryl adds information that suggests that Dzhokhar was more convinced than he would have us believe:

Yet Dzhokhar’s page on the Russian social media website vKontakte appears to show that he frequented a number of Islamic religious websites (During interrogation by FBI agents after he was taken into custody, Dzhokhar said that he and his brother had watched online sermons by the radical cleric and al-Qaeda sympathizer Anwar al-Awlaki). It’s possible, of course, that he felt sincerely wedded to his identity as a Muslim even though he had a hard time avoiding the temptations that face the typical young American.

Caryl describes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a “young Muslim firebrand.” Not as a hatemonger or a racist or bigot, as Caryl’s mainstream media describe my colleagues and me for opposing the debased inhumanity that the Tsarnaevs represent. Instead, Caryl laments how the Tsarnaev brothers were taken in by a “seductive (though horribly misguided) idealism.” Idealism.

The deception continues. Caryl writes: “At the Cambridge mosque where Tamerlan sometimes worshiped, he attracted attention on at least two occasions during prayer services by speaking out against moderate imams who were preaching the virtues of tolerance.”

That is not what happened. In reality, Tamerlan Tsarnaev reacted violently when an imam praised Martin Luther King on Marin Luther King Day, because King was a “non-believer.” That makes the imam moderate? While we know nothing substantial to prove that the imam is moderate, we do know that at least five people connected to the Tsarnaev’s mosque have been associated with terror. And that’s not including Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.

“Each day,” Caryl complains, “brings fresh questions about the peculiar constellation of forces that seem to have driven the Tsarnaev brothers to commit their crime. We may never get entirely to the bottom of it all.”

Believe them, Christian, when they tell you why they did it. They slaughtered for the cause of Islam. 

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here.


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