Despite the scholarships and the positive press, the money and the good times that came their way, the Tsarnaevs were never truly part of our communities or our country. As the words of a Jihadist song in Dzhokhar’s playlist go, “Be in this temporary world a stranger/Infidels rule the earth/for the faithful life is torture.”
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were strangers. Tamerlan had an American wife and Dzhokhar had plenty of American friends but they chose to treat a city and a nation that had taken them in as targets in a terrorist war. As infidels who deserved nothing more than to be lied to and killed.
The Tsarnaevs weren’t insane. Nor were they nihilists looking to go out with a bang just for the kicks. Their social media accounts reveal the world of two men who had strong beliefs and commitments. These beliefs and commitments however were not to this country. They were to the Islamic Ummah.
Two months before his killing spree, Tamerlan reproved another Muslim for not believing. Unlike him, Tamerlan believed. What he believed in was not the mere nationalism of a land that he had never lived in. If Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had only wanted Chechen independence, they could have joined the fight there. But if the thought ever crossed their minds, they were reoriented in another direction.
To Americans, the Chechen Jihadists, the Syrian rebels, the Palestinian terrorists, the Afghan Taliban and the Mali Turaeg fighters all represent national struggles. To Muslims, they are all local manifestations of a global struggle between Islam and the world. For the Tsarnaevs, Chechnya wasn’t any different than Afghanistan, Nigeria, Thailand, America or any other theater of battle in a world war. Instead of trying to fight a war in a country he had never seen, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was dispatched or dispatched himself to fight a battle in the country that he knew best.
In Obama’s speech, the willingness of the Tsarnaev brothers to kill the people of the country they had grown up in is a paradox. But it isn’t a paradox; it’s the point.
Communists in America undermined the country not just because they saw it as the greatest villain, but because Communists in every nation were committed to undermining it in order to remake it. Each Communist movement was fighting a local front in a transnational struggle. For Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev their local front was not Chechnya; it was Boston.
Chechnya to the Tsarnaevs represented the Islamic transnationalism of the Jihadist that transcended nations. Their Chechen nationalism, like Hamas’ Palestinian nationalism and the Syrian nationalism of the rebel brigades linked to the Muslim Brotherhood derived from a common Islamic identity. It could have no meaning without Islam.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev carried out the marathon massacre not because they were on the outside, but because they were on the inside. Islamic terrorism was their way of expressing their American identity. When they detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon, they weren’t doing it as Chechen Muslims, but as American Muslims.
Like Anwar al-Awlaki and Nidal Hasan, they wanted an American identity that would be based on Islam in the same way that Chechen identity was based on Islam. They wanted it because they believed it to be the only possible way of making America over into a country that would reflect their own values.
There is a reason why second and third generation Muslims are more likely to turn terrorist than their immigrant parents. It is because they have become American, British, Canadian and Australian part of the way. They have gone deep enough to begin making a claim on the country. The Western Islamist seeks to align his internal Islamic identity and his external national identity by unifying them through Islamization.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were not fighting for Chechnya at the Boston Marathon. They were fighting against the American infidels who were barring the way to an Islamic America. They were fighting to make America like Chechnya. Islam is not just a religion. It is a political system. You cannot expect a devout Muslim to live as an American, the same way that you could not expect a Communist, Nazi or any other consuming political identity to just keep it private or local. To think that way is to truly misunderstand Islam.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not become radicalized. They became religious. They embraced a transnational ideology which applied not only to them, their mosque or their community, but to the entire world. Eventually the discontinuity between their beliefs and the life of the city around them became too great to be tolerated. And so the Tsarnaevs, inspired in no small part by the Islamist culture that they found on the internet and perhaps at their own radical mosque, set out to resolve the conflict through terrible violence.
The two brothers were showered with educational and financial advantages. The United States took them in as refugees. The City of Cambridge awarded Dzhokhar a $2,500 scholarship. Tamerlan aspired to be a boxer and found a woman who loved him enough to take his religion. They lived the good life, but it wasn’t enough. It could never be enough.
The liberals who refuse to see what the Tsarnaev brothers stood for passionately believe in the things that they think it will take to make the world a better place. The Tsarnaevs believed that only one thing was necessary; Islam.
Islam was born out of war and terror. It spread through the sword and the slave. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were not the disciples of some imaginary religion of peace, but a religion of war. What they did was horrifying, but not surprising. They were taking part in a world war that had begun over a thousand years ago.
They did not expect to strike the finishing blow; just another blow to bring America closer to the form of submission known as Islam. Like other Muslim terrorists operating in the countless theaters of the world war, from Asia to Africa to the Middle East to Australia and America, they sought to shock and horrify, to break our will to resist and force us to submit.
"He it is who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist." Koran 61:9
In Boston the infidels resisted the messengers of Mohammed and Allah. They patched up the wounded and saved as many as they could. They hunted down the messengers and shot them. But more will come. They will speak the language of our popular culture and their classmates will remember them as nice young men. No one will understand what caused such nice young men to do it except other nice young men like them who feel the tension between Islam and America inside them waiting to break.
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