If the Marathon Bombers are found to have had contact with Chechen jihadis, there is likely to be a backlash against Muslim immigrants and immigration reform. So it is especially important to listen to the words of Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the bombers, who gave an emotional press conference this morning near his Maryland home.
Tsarni, who was estranged for years from his brother – the father of the bombers, said: “If I had guessed [what they did], I would have submitted them [to the police] muself,” he said. “They have put shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity, on our entire family.”
When asked how he felt about the United States, Tsarni, also an immigrant, said passionately: “I teach my children this is the idea [country] in the entire world. I love this country, it gives the chance to everybody to be treated like a human being and to feel yourself a human being.”
The brothers were “losers” he said and he didn’t know what radicalized them. “This had nothing to do with Chechnya. Anything to do with religion, with Islam is a fake,” he insisted.
If the Tsarnaev brothers turn out to have had foreign jihadi links, there will be a rush to claim all Muslim immigrants are suspicious. But as Tsarni argues, most of those who immigrate (Muslims included) are only seeking the chance to make a better life.