DEARBORN, Michigan – Many Dearborn area friends and neighbors who heard about the explosions that disrupted the end of the Boston Marathon had a brief but poignant thought: “Please don’t let it be a Muslim.”
Amer Zahr said on his blog – This Is Going to Be a Lousy Weekend : “I was planning on having a lazy Friday watching funny YouTube videos, reading my Facebook News Feed, and catching up on my TV shows. No such luck… So it seems that the two main suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are two brothers from Chechnya. And it of course did not get lost on CNN and Fox News that they are also Muslim.”
“Was this thought crossing your mind…?” asked the Facebook page of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, which featured this Washington Post blog post entitled: “Please don’t be a Muslim: Boston marathon blasts draw condemnation and dread in Muslim world.”
The Dearborn based National Network for Arab American Communities released a statement saying, “Our thoughts and condolences continue to be with the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. We are grateful to the brave first responders and law enforcement officers, who endangered their own lives.”
It also said, “we urge the media and the public to refrain from scapegoating or turning against our fellow Americans based on their racial, ethnic, religious or immigrant identity.”
The Islamic Institute of Knowledge on Schaefer Road in Dearborn is hosting an event this evening at 9:00pm – a Memorial for All Victims of Terrorism. The Facebook event page says: “Join us at the Islamic Institute of Knowledge as we come to together to hold a Memorial for not only the victims of Boston, but all victims around the world who are effected by terror everyday!”
An image at the top of the Facebook event page for the memorial service says: “Terrorism has no religion.”
Amal Hammoud Berry responded: “When did anybody hold any kind of service for victims in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain?”
Ahmad Chammout commented: “People should speak out. Why do they speak out about the white guy that sent a poison letter to president Obama. They accused him for being mentally ill – like they always say when a white American does such a terror act.”
Abu Muhammed remarked: “When do Muslims stop begging for acceptance of people that call you a terrorist? I’m not going to say every time a Muslim does something that we’re not all terrorist. There are 2 billion Muslims. If they want to know what we believe let them pick up a Quran or ask what’s our belief. That’s not the case though. They just want to point at Islam because we allow it and beg them for forgiveness … Screw that, I’m a fifth generation American I don’t have to explain myself! When they tell us go back to the Middle East, tell em take their asses back to Europe.”
Suhaib Webb, the Oklahoma-born imam who leads the largest Mosque in Boston said: “We’re Bostonians – we mourn with the city. We stand in support with the city, with the victims. We’re hurt, equally shocked and equally pissed off.”
Imam Webb was returning from Dearborn – in route to Boston on the 15th – when he received word of the horrible tragedy, and tweeted “Praying for Boston… heavy heart as I return home” – at 3:30pm – The Boston Globe had tweeted: “Two powerful explosions detonated in quick succession right next to the Boston Marathon finish line this afternoon” at 2:59pm on the 15th. One of Webb’s last tweets in the Detroit area: “Old Detroit Train Station…. The rust belt is dying” with photo attached in the early hours of the morning on the 15th.
Webb had been the keynote speaker at CAIR Michigan’s 13th Annual Banquet at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn on Sunday April 14, 2013. Webb, an active blogger on SuhaibWebb.com had “studied in the College of Shari’ah at the distinguished Al-Azhar University in Cairo for six years. He memorized the Quran in Mecca. The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center named Webb as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.”
“I am deeply saddened and shocked by the recent events. Our city’s peace was taken away in a blink of an eye. Our faith is once again being called to suspicion. Innocent people are being hurt. What is needed now is meeting hate with love, trials with patience and fear with increased worship. Each and every one of us needs to be a shelter in this storm.” wrote Subhaib Webb in his Letter of Love to the Boston Community on April 19.
Jaweed Kaleem brings up a vexing question: “Muslim communities now face a vexing question: Do they accept the men as Muslims despite the allegations against them? If so, will they give Tamerlan Tsarnaev an Islamic burial? … dozens of mosques and Islamic groups have distanced themselves from the brothers after friends and family described them as Muslims.”
David Remnick, writing about the Tsarnaev brothers – The Culprits ( in The New Yorker ) said: “But rebellion persists, in Chechnya and in the surrounding regions … and it is now fundamentalist in character. The slogan is ‘global jihad.’ The tactics are kidnappings, assassinations, bombings.”
A report from the Daily Mail speculates that the Boston Marathon bombers were influenced by YouTube videos of “Abdel al-Hamid al-Juhani, a Russian sheik who reportedly preaches a form of Salafi Islam that is usually associated with al-Qaeda.”
Many questions remain unanswered
- Where is the due process of law? – Thomas Mullen, writing in The Washington Times says: The Bill of Rights was written for Dzhokar Tsarnaev. What happened to Tsarnaev’s Miranda rights? The Michigan House approved the NDAA Nullification Bill on April 18 unanimously (107-0). Does Massachusetts have a similar law nullifying NDAA? President Obama signed the 2012 NDAA, codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. Were 9000 police officers with full military gear, armored vehicles, and total shut down of Boston really necessary to catch one guy? (Update: White House says suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not be charged as an enemy combatant but face trial in a federal court.)
- Where is the evidence? – Maret Tsarnaev, an aunt of the Boston bomber suspects living in Toronto keeps asking: “Where’s the evidence? As a Chechen, Tsarnaeva says she is accustomed to being set up by the police, and does not believe that the photos or the reports from the FBI are true. People should not swallow everything the government is saying, she said. Give evidence… I will never accuse my relatives, my nephews, without having evidence.” (Update: The criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District court provides an affidavit with detailed evidence.)
- What was the motive? Was the motive related to politics, religion, socio-economic status, struggles assimilating to life in the United States, or some other motive? (Update: The Associated Press (AP) claims “The two brothers … appear to have been motivated by a radical brand of Islam but do not seem connected to any Muslim terrorist groups.”)
- What kind of worldview (or ideology) produces terrorists and bombers like this? Is it true that the Tsarnaev brothers were radicalized via social networks? Are the Wahhabi, and Salafi sects of Islam more prone to violence? The slogan “Terrorism has no religion” is helpful – because it reminds us to be very careful about religious bigotry. All religions, worldviews, and ideologies can be misunderstood and misrepresented. Immediately after reports that the suspects were of Chechen origin, Kadyrov tweeted that “terror has no nationality.” How do we critique dangerous worldviews and ideologies?
- Were the Tsarnaev brothers really double agents? Speculation is buzzing that the brothers were hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jihadist networks. What was the purpose of the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath at MIT in Watertown? Why were ‘Navy Seal’ or private military contractors photographed at the scene with very suspicious activity surrounding the event?
- Do we have all the facts? Is the federal government hiding something? Why is Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi – who was named a person of interest in the Boston Marathon bombings – suddenly being deported back to Saudi Arabia this coming Tuesday? Is Glenn Beck crazy or is something fishy going on? (Update: We don’t give much credence to conspiracy theories – but why is the American Thinker talking about them? Let’s hope all the left-wing-nut and right-wing-nut theories evaporate as more facts are revealed.)
- Dearborn Mosque to Hold Service Honoring Victims of Boston Bombings – Detroit Free Press
- Metro Detroit Muslims Condemn Boston Marathon Bombings – Detroit News
- Suspected Boston Bomber, May Not Get Islamic Funeral From Wary Muslims – Huffington Post
- Boston Bomber Suspects Had Attended Cambridge Mosque – Huffington Post
- Mosque That Boston Suspects Attended Has Radical Ties – USA Today
- CAIR-MI Annual Banquet Focuses on Anti-Muslim Bullying in School – Arab American News
- CAIR Annual Banquet 2013: Upholding Our Constitution, Defending Our Faith – Dearborn Patch
- Europe’s Islamic Radicals Will Soon Land on America’s Doorstep – Fox News
- Boston and the future of Islam in America – Reuters
- Tsamaev Brothers: Should America Ignore Their Muslim Affiliation? – Washington Times
- Video: Peek Inside the Boston Islamic Community – American Thinker
- Eye Witness Account – The Boston Bombers Where Outside Our House – Aquila Report
- I Am Not Abraham’s Mistake – Dearborn Free Press
- The Evolutionary Hermeneutic and Dearborn – Dearborn Free Press
I would love to know where all the video evidence is that the police should have of the gunfight and the brother running the blockade?
What about the videos recording the atm withdrawls, 3 times, with the kidnapped/carjacked victim?
All we have seen is the video of the younger brother in the boat with infra red technology.
This whole story wreaks of corruption.
The authorities unconstituionally shut down a major city and the people from moving to catch this guy.
Does anyone understand the ramifications of this?
I have no problem with what and how the authorities handled this matter and just hope that they MAKE this sob talk one way or another.
Perhaps you do not realize the magnitude of what the larger picture actually is here then.
Where is the evidence?
No miranda rights????
That does not bother you in the least huh?
Just because they are foreigners, this makes it ok to what the authorities(funny name for them) did?
Really guys? says
Really guys? Because the police asked people to *voluntarily* stay indoors for a day the government has suddenly stepped over its bounds? The room was sucked of all its logic when it was questioned that the police force may mobilize 9000 cops to arrest a bad guy and then…. send them all home! Just like they did! No megaphones and stun guns announcing a hostile take over… Just the police force doing what out taxes pay them to do. My brother lives in Boston- within the area affected- and experienced this firsthand. They are proud of the police work done to get these guys, and we should as well. The constitution wasn’t stepped on- that’s simply ludicrous… They asked people to stay inside. America needs better schools to defeat this nonsense.
Douglas Vos says
Comment for “Really Guys” – This guy writing for the Washington Times (quoted in the article above) may have been over-reacting… but here’s what he said – in context:
“When Lee Harvey Oswald was similarly suspected of killing a police officer after assassinating the President of the United States, Dallas was not put under martial law. No tanks rolled through the streets. Oswald was armed at the time of his arrest and attempted to shoot the arresting officer, whose thumb stopped the hammer of Oswald’s pistol from discharging the weapon at point blank range.”
“It is noteworthy that the military siege was called off several hours before Tsarnaev was captured. In the end, he was found and taken into custody by the same methods that any other criminal has been for most of U.S. history.”
“So, there was no cause and effect relationship between the state show of power and the apprehension of the suspect.”
Maybe that’s what he was talking about.
Really guys? says
Boston was *not* under martial law. The police force asked everyone to stay inside. Why? Because it exposed Tsarnaev’s movements. The police could keep a better eye on the streets and utilize evryone in their homes as eyes- which they did, which is how they caught him. Someone emerged from their house and noticed the blood. If he had been at work it would have been a different story and the kid may have made off. Also, it was not hours after it was called off- it was something like 10 minutes, not that it matters.
So, it was just good policing. There were absolutely *no* rights infringed upon because it was voluntary. It was *not* martial law… That’s ridiculous.
Douglas Vos says
Looks like the Washtington Times writer had his facts wrong. Thanks for clarifying this point.
Really guys? says
It’s hilarious the arrest of Oswald is being compared to this. It Is ENTIRELY different. The arrest of Oswald was within AN HOUR of the shooting and people had SEEN where he went. Want to know why it took 9000 cops? It was almost a week after the bombing and the kid could have been anywhere in a densely populated suburban area… Duh.
Really guys? says
No problem. There are lot of voices out there saying a lot of different things… Much of them wrong.
The thing with Conspiracy Nuts is they are allowed to dismiss fact with speculation. They are allowed to remove events with supposition. Look up the photos posted by Andrew Kitzenberg that he shot from his house during the original shootout. He has a photo of the two brothers shooting from behind an SUV. He has photos of police cars with windows shot out. He has pictures of a spot where they detonated a bomb. He has photos of a bullet hole in his house. He has a picture of the younger brother driving an SUV toward the police barricade after his older brother had been shot.
Now, the details on the pictures are horrible. You can’t really make out faces or anything from the photos posted online. But THAT isn’t proof that what was reported is false. The police reported the older brother was shot, and run over by the younger brother…these pictures show that possibility. At some point the conspiracy has to be SO large and SO far fetched to become unbelievable. We have an unconnected civilian telling us what he saw and showing pictures to back it up, and the only way it can be questioned is because the truth is not desirable.
Where is all the police video of the shootout?
Where is the video of the ATM withdrawls of the carjacked victim?
Boston was shut down for one person(illegally).
They went into peoples houses a forcibly, by gun point had them coming out with hands on their heads.
There is video to prove this.
This was a dry run of what could take place large scale.
This kid was refused his miranda rights.
Douglas Vos says
EDITORS NOTE: This story was published on April 20th. It gathers opinions from multiple perspectives and provides links to multiple sources. This editorial is a reflection of various people’s reactions, opinions, and questions. Some hyper-linked sources and related items add details and confirm facts.