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Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Body Remains Unclaimed

May 1, 2013

As of 4/30/2013 the “older brother’s” body remains under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office pending official notification by his widow that she wishes to “relinquish her rights as next of kin“.  Further information and possible outcomes related to the disposal of the body can be found at the previously linked article.  This article is not meant as a primary source of news but instead wishes to ask the question of what would “you” do if you were in a similar situation.

In other words, assuming someone close to you committed a heinous act and was killed shortly thereafter, what would you suggest should be the appropriate response?  Likewise, if someone close to you committed a heinous act which was anathema to the religious practices which you both professed should that person be given a religious funeral?  Catholic religious tradition, for example, suggests that the erring person should neither be mourned nor given a Catholic funeral.  According to many Muslim religious figures the tenets of Islam provide for similar restrictions.

For many Muslims these questions are not just theoretical.  As reported in this article on the CNN Belief Blog there are some who have already suggested they would not be interested in becoming involved in any funeral arrangements for the dead Chechen.  I believe they have made the right decision and yet I do have some additional comments and questions regarding some of the reported responses…

Many Muslim community leaders have sought to distance themselves from the Tsarnaevs in light of reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev might have been influenced by radical Islam.

I’m afraid I don’t get it.  Under what set of circumstances, assuming all else remained the same, would those leaders not have sought to distance themselves from the Tsarnevs or not condemned their actions?

Fearing retaliation, Muslim leaders have strongly condemned the bombings and made it clear that Islam does not condone violence.

Again.  I’m a bit confused.  The Muslim leaders have “strongly condemned the bombings and made clear that Islam does not condone violence” because they “fear retaliation”, as opposed  to simply doing so as a matter of principle?

At least one Boston cleric said he would refuse to perform funeral rites for a man accused of committing so much violence. The Quran, said Imam Talal Eid, says that anyone who has killed another human being is going to hell.

How much more principled and appropriate does the quote by Talal Eid sound in comparison?

Perhaps the good news is that, according to a recently published Pew study, American Muslims do seem to differ significantly on at least some issues from their foreign brethren.  In addition, and I will close with an interesting quote from the same article, which seems to suggest that Muslims are a bit less politically correct than many Western citizens….

Despite most country’s disapproval of violence in the name of Islam, religious extremism – and in particular Muslim extremism – is a concern for a majority of Muslims in the world, according to the survey.

“At least half of Muslims in 22 of the 36 countries where the question was asked say they are at least somewhat concerned about religious extremist groups in their country,” the report reads. “In most countries, Muslims are much more worried about Islamic extremists than Christian extremists.”







From → Moral Reasoning

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