Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Ghost and the Darkness

The movie is set in Tsavo, Kenya, during the building of the African Uganda-Mombasa Railway in 1898. Two lions roam in pairs, drawing strength from each other. Locals have named them The Ghost and The Darkness for the savagery with which they kill workers. When the hunters John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) and Charles Remington (Michael Douglas) enter their den, they find human skulls arranged like trophies. That’s when they realize these are no ordinary lions.These are lions that kill for fun and sport.

As the horrific scenes of the Boston marathon massacre unfolded, I kept thinking of the Ghost and the Darkness. The Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, are no lions. They are, in fact, cowards but they converted their cowardice into savagery by working in pairs. It is possible that the 26-year old Tamerlan was a master manipulator and the mastermind of the attacks but even if that is the case, 19-year old Dzhokhar was a willing accomplice. That makes both equally guilty of the terror they created on a glorious spring day when Bostonians were out in droves to celebrate the city’s iconic event.

Much is being made about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month long visit to Russia’s troubled province of Dagestan in March 2012 and the time he spent in the capital, the Caspian Sea city of Makhachkala. Was he radicalized during his visit? Was he in contact with terrorists who filled him with ideas about creating mayhem in America? Was he planted as a cell in Boston, to strike when the city was at its most vulnerable, to maximize death and destruction?

Although we may never know Tamerlan’s motive, given that he perished in a shootout with the police, it is becoming increasingly clear that the brothers acted alone. They did what they did because these “nobodies” and "losers" (as their uncle called them and he was right on the mark) wanted to “redeem” themselves through acts of brutality.

The wounded Dzhokhar has indicated from his hospital bed that he and his brother acted to “defend the honor of Islam” and to avenge the U.S. war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Please, give us a break! Two alienated losers want to give meaning to their empty lives by committing heinous crimes and then the surviving criminal immediately tries to tie the motivation to a higher cause! This is utter nonsense. I know that America will move heaven and earth to find a connection  between the brothers and one or more foreign terror groups but I hope the people in charge of the investigation will not clutch at straws.

For American Muslims, the actions of the Tsarnaev brothers came as a double blow. They created terror and killed innocent Americans, first, and second, they gave Islam a bad name and shamed Muslims. I promised myself after the 9/11 attacks that I will not suffer any guilt if a fanatic commits crimes in the name of my faith. Yet, as soon as the Boston marathon story broke, I fervently prayed, “Please God, don’t let it be a Muslim!” 
Within forty-eight hours, my hopes were dashed. 
But as I come to grips with the Boston massacre, I also sense that my resolve not to feel any guilt, though shaken yet again, is slowly strengthening. No one can carry the burden of another. If I had any contact with “the Ghost and the Darkness,” or if I were privy to their inner thoughts, I would certainly have contacted the authorities. It would have been both my right and my responsibility. But since I did not know the diabolical brothers and what they were planning to do, there is no reason why I should feel guilty for their action, even if they claimed to be Muslims or acting in the name of Islam. 

I will, however, protest the insidious suggestion of some pundits that becoming more religious (particularly when it comes to Islam when someone becomes more observant with respect to, say, prayers or visiting mosques) is somehow akin to becoming radicalized. Sure, if the so-called believer begins to act in a hostile manner and indulges in hate-mongering, authorities must be informed, but "becoming religious" is not synonymous with "becoming radicalized." Consider this: Just this week, an Imam in Toronto, Canada, recently found one of his congregants behaving strangely. He reported him to the police, thus foiling an attack organized apparently by Al-Qaida. "But for the Muslim community's intervention," said an official of Canada's counter-terrorism unit, "we may not have had the success." 

As it is, the only thing I feel is heartfelt sympathy for the victims and the only thing I know about the Tsarnaev brothers is that they made a Faustian bargain. And the bargain they made was with themselves.


Anonymous said...


My webpage ミュウミュウ 新作

Anonymous said...


Feel free to visit my web page ... miumiu 財布

Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but
I find this topic to be really something that I think I would
never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.

I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the
hang of it!

Here is my web blog: raspberry ketone diet reviews

Anonymous said...

You are so cool! I don't believe I've read through a single thing like this before.
So nice to discover someone with some genuine
thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this
up. This website is something that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

my blog post: mots-du-scrap.objectis.net

Anonymous said...

Since it takes some time to download all the information, so the associated with increased bounce level of are more.
For example, concerned with page SEO features keyword selection as well as tagging as
all of its fundamental compounds.

Stop by my homepage; http://www.affordable-seo-services.com/articles/

Anonymous said...

Internet marketing companies play an incredible integral role operating
in improving the entire performance of a agency. And also business needs
diagnosis on internet to generate leads, money
and do marketing and pr.

Here is my web blog; seo service san diego

Anonymous said...

you are in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The web site loading velocity is incredible.
It sort of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you've done a magnificent activity in this topic!

My weblog: Big Idea Mastermind

Anonymous said...

you are in point of fact a excellent webmaster.

The web site loading velocity is incredible. It sort of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you've done a magnificent activity in
this topic!

Also visit my blog - Big Idea Mastermind

Anonymous said...

In some cases the most convenient way to deleted installed control sequences is to duplicate and paste the affected part to note pad,
tidy up the content you wish kept, then content and
insert it back.

Look into my weblog ... newsalfemminile.it

Anonymous said...

Exactly how do you spell the name of the chemical?

Feel free to visit my web blog :: Http://Playingwithfashion.Wordpress.Com/2013/03/21/Inspired-By-Nature/

Anonymous said...

It's appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it's time to be happy.
I have read this post and if I may just I wish to suggest you some attention-grabbing things or advice.

Maybe you could write next articles relating to this article.
I wish to read more things about it!

Here is my web blog - コーチバッグ

Anonymous said...

Hurrah! At last I got a webpage from where I be capable of really get helpful data regarding my study
and knowledge.

my blog post :: ミュウミュウ店舗

Anonymous said...

It's actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

my web blog - トリーバーチ

Anonymous said...

I m having this error on a 4700 shade laserjet connection printer.
It begins spitting out pages non cease with this mistake.

anyone has a tip if this is software application or device.

Then I have all newest driver and firmware updates.
motorist I am taking legal action against is PCL6.

any type of aid would certainly be appreciated.

Also visit my blog :: cestgirlsochic.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Excellent items from you, man. I have take into accout your stuff
previous to and you're just too excellent. I actually like what you have got here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which wherein you are saying it. You are making it entertaining and you continue to care for to stay it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. That is really a wonderful site.

Feel free to visit my site http://bizpromotercourses.com/

Anonymous said...

you are in reality a excellent webmaster.

The web site loading velocity is incredible. It seems that you are doing any unique trick.

Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a magnificent activity on this matter!

Take a look at my web-site xerox 8560 solid ink