Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsnarnaev: What Is the Chechnya and Islam Connection?

The alleged Boston Marathon bombers have been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. The suspects were identified as brothers originally from Chechnya. Both of the suspects were also identified as being Muslim.

The suspects were involved in a shootout with police overnight. During the gun battle, Tamerlan was killed, but Dzhokhar managed to escape. The authorities have set up a manhunt in the Boston area to catch the suspect.

The brothers' ties back to Chechnya may provide some insight into the reason for the bombing. Chechnya is a small Russian republic located in the southeastern part of Europe. The predominant Chechen religion is Islam, specifically Sunni Islam. The Sunnis stress the role of religion in public and political life.

The Tsarnaev brothers had stated their support for their faith. Dzhohar’s worldview was “Islam” and Tamerlan stated he was very religious. Tamerlan also stated that he felt that people had lost their sense of values.

The brother’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, rejects any ties between to the bombings and the brothers Islamic faith. Instead, he blames their inability to assimilate with American society for their actions. He also urged Dzhokhar to turn himself in to authorities.

The role that religion played in the bombing will not be known until Dzhokhar is captured and interrogated. If his religion played a role in his actions, then the negative views of Islam will be strengthened. If not, then the brothers will be viewed as dejected immigrants unable to thrive in America. Neither will help the immigration debate.

 

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Darcy Kempa

Darcy is an avid fan of politics and the political process. He worked for the Richard M. Daley mayoral campaign in late 1982 through early 1983. Darcy completed 21 years of military service in the Marine Corps and the Navy. While in the Navy, he served at the Pentagon and completed the Capital Hill Workshop from the Government Affairs Institute of Georgetown University. Darcy has a Masters of Arts in Organizational Management and a Masters Certificate in Project Management. He is also a Certified Manager which was obtained through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers.

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