Jihad and Tamerlan Tsarnaev

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Andrew Sullivan argues that the Boston bombings orchestrated by Tamerlan Tsarnaev were clearly an act of Islamic jihad:

One reason the Miranda rights issue is not that salient is that the evidence that this dude bombed innocents, played a role in shooting a cop, shutting down a city, and terrorizing people for a week is overwhelming and on tape. And yes, of course, this decision to commit horrific crimes may be due in part to “some combination of mental illness, societal alienation, or other form of internal instability and rage that is apolitical in nature.” But to dismiss the overwhelming evidence that this was also religiously motivated — a trail that now includes a rant against his own imam for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. because he was not a Muslim — is to be blind to an almost text-book case of Jihadist radicalization, most likely in the US.

….We see the sexual puritanism of the neurotically fundamentalist. We have his YouTube page and the comments he made in the photography portfolio. To state today that we really still have no idea what motivated him and that rushing toward the word Jihadist is some form of Islamophobia seems completely bizarre to me.

Please. Just stop this. What we know about Tamerlan Tsarnaev is that he was (a) Muslim and (b) enraged about something. Was he enraged, a la Sayyid Qutb, about the sexual libertinism of American culture? Was he enraged about perceived American support for Russia against Chechen rebels? Was he enraged about American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Was he acting on orders from a foreign terrorist group?

We don’t know yet. Yes, there’s plainly evidence of his growing Islamic extremism over the past three years. But if there’s anything we’ve learned over the last week, it’s that jumping to conclusions on this stuff is foolish. Our natural curiosity isn’t a good enough reason to rush to judgment about Tsarnaev’s motivations. Just wait. There’s no harm in it. We’ll find out soon enough.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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