Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What didn't make Tsarnaev do it?

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.

What didn't make Tsarnaev do it?

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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.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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