Is Islamic Terrorism a Motive?

If the Tsarnaevs were named Bob and Bill White and had playlists full of Neo-Nazi videos, the media would not spend the next month cautioning us not to jump to conclusions.


Take 1. The media talking heads were emphasizing the probability that the Boston marathon bombers would turn out to be Tea Party activists protesting Tax Day. There was absolutely zero evidence of that aside from the date, which also happened to coincidence with a scheduled event that was being targeted. But that didn't stop the suggestions from flowing.

Take 2. The terrorists were captured. They are not only Muslims, but were enthusiasts of Islamic terrorism. And the same talking heads not say we should refrain from jumping to conclusions.

While there is still some possibility that it could turn out that the Tsarnaev brothers were really angry about gun control or the Keystone pipeline or the cancellation of The Cleveland Show, considering the amount of Islamic terrorist attacks and their support for Islamic terrorism, the obvious motive is still the obvious motive.

If the Tsarnaevs were named Bob and Bill White and had playlists full of Neo-Nazi videos, the media would not spend the next month cautioning us not to jump to conclusions. It would jump to conclusions with both feet and it would generally be right.

It is the job of the police not to jump to conclusions. It is the job of juries not to jump to conclusions. It's not the job of the media not to jump to conclusions. Sure reporting should reflect realistic speculation, and it should be labeled as such, but selectively pretending ignorance for political reasons in situations where no such ignorance would be pretended otherwise is hypocrisy.

Instead the media has bizarrely bent over backward to try and minimize the motive. The entire preposterous thing reaches its peak when the Boston Globe runs a piece suggesting that Tamerlan Tsarnaev could not have been an Islamic Jihadist because he had Jihadist music on his playlist.

A YouTube page created by someone named Tamerlan Tsarnaev in August 2012 — and who adopted the user name Muazseyfullah, or “Muaz sword of God” — suggests the user had begun dabbling in radical ­Islamism.

It could not be confirmed that the page belonged to the bombing suspect.

But even with that page, a mixed picture emerges. There are a number of videos of Feiz Mohammed, a controversial Australian fundamentalist sheik and, like Tsarnaev, a former boxer, who has drawn criticism for suggesting that women are responsible for their own rape and calling for the radicalization of children.

Another is a slick production that invokes the apocalyptic symbolism of Al Qaeda.

Other videos, labeled “terrorism,” appear to have been deleted.

On the other hand, the page also includes music videos featuring Timur Mutsuraev, a singer who is a hero in the Chechen fight for independence, sympathizing with the insurgents seeking independence from Russia.

Fundamentalist Wahhabis see music as “the work of the devil,” said Monica Duffy Toft, a professor at the University of Oxford.

The Boston Globe, helpfully, leaves out the name of the song, "We Dedicate Our Lives to the Jihad" and the fact that Timur's songs are all about Islamic Jihadism.

This is blatant journalistic malpractice and it's senseless at that. The Boston Globe is actually trying to disprove Tamerlan as an Islamic terrorist by citing his Islamic terrorist playlist on the grounds that some Islamist terrorists reject music altogether.

Monica Duffy Toft, an associate professor of public policy, doesn't seem to grasp the difference between the Nasheeds, the chants used by Timur and a full orchestra. And she also assumes an inaccurate universal position by all Islamist terrorists loosely associated with international terrorist networks.

But the likelihood is that the Globe and Tuft know better. What they are trying to do is grab on to any straw that can undermine the obvious facts.

The root cause is the denial of Islamic terrorism as a motive. Once that attempt to subvert an obvious fact takes hold, all the remaining data has to be warped or distorted to accommodate that first original lie.