Troubling Double Standard for Terrorists

Article excerpt

Byline: Parvez Ahmed

Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev resemble Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine gunmen who killed 13 people using guns, explosive devices and bombs rigged to cars.

And yet, unlike with the Tasrnaevs, no one dug into which church Harris and Klebold worshiped at.

Timothy McVeigh, the self-radicalized Oklahoma City bomber who killed 168, including 19 children under the age of 6, was motivated by radical Christian and anti-government views.

And yet no one asked his family or members of his faith if they were patriotic Americans.

The apparent double standard is one of many troubling aspects of expert commentary in the aftermath of the Boston tragedy.

U.S. government sources indicate that the Tsarnaevs were not connected to any outside terror group. How then did an otherwise "normal" person turn to such deranged violence?

To the Fox News crowd, the motive is Islam and the trigger is jihad.

Underreported is the fact that Muslim groups and Islamic Centers around the country have been unequivocal in their condemnation of the bombings and in expressing their solidarity with the citizens of Boston.

NO FIXED TRAJECTORY

The Brennan Law Center in its 2011 report "Rethinking Radicalization" wrote, "The path to terrorism does not have a fixed trajectory with each step of the process having specific and identifiable markers."

Any assumption that terrorism is linked to a religion is gross oversimplification of a complex process that social scientists indicate has no set pattern.

Not everyone who holds hardline conservative religious views becomes a terrorist nor is every mentally ill person a step removed from being a mass murder.

The Brennan Report went on to say, "There is no profile of the type of person who becomes a terrorist; indeed, the process by which a person embraces violence is fluid, making it nearly impossible to predict who will move from espousing aeradical' views to committing violent acts. …