This past week has brought tragedy upon tragedy in the United States, and both mainstream and social media have wasted no time expressing their own opinions about politics in light of recent events, specifically the Boston bombings. I’ve seen recent posts about how amazing the U.S. government is and how terrible everyone else that is not “American” is. I’ve also seen posts expressing hatred about everything about the government because they are actually the ones responsible for everything that goes wrong. And I’ve seen other posts still about the ones who don’t really care what the government is doing, as long as it doesn’t have an immediate and direct effect on their lives.
If I could create my own political party, it would be entirely separate from any faith, and consist solely on freedom & equality in accordance with the values of tolerance and compassion towards all. But of course, the system is much more complicated than that, in which case I would most likely fall closest under the category of liberal democrat. I know that some government is necessary, good even, but that too much involvement oppresses freedom and can cause more problems than solutions. In regards to the Boston marathon bombing, I have some opinions of my own, most of which the government would definitely not approve of.
As most of you are aware, there was a bombing at the Boston marathon earlier this week in which at least 3 were killed and over 100 were injured. You may also have heard that the suspects have been caught, and all is well in the world once again. But what you may not know is the little details that many choose to ignore or overlook that so clearly indicate that this case involves so much more than meets the eye.
The suspects were two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, young Americans who came from a good family and background, were educated and sociable, and had communities, dreams, and goals just like everyone else. Having come to the United States as children, they were raised in an American lifestyle and had no known motive to bomb innocent people. They were deemed guilty by government officials based on loose footage of them (along with the many people that must have been around them) seen near the bombing site at the time tragedy struck, but have yet to find any sort of real proof that they are actually guilty.
Because officials decided these were the true prime suspects, the American people cheered on the search for them, and celebrated victory when the remaining suspect and younger brother, Dzhokhar, was found (the older bother, Tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with the police). Friends, family, and acquaintences described Dzhokhar as normal, social, and jovial. Classmates and teachers referred to his personality as smart, funny, and kind-hearted.When he was officially declared to be a prime suspect, they all seemed to be in shock, unable to believe someone like him was behind the bombing (maybe because he wasn’t). When they heard he had been relaxed and partying after the tragedy, they couldn’t understand how a bomber could be so relaxed after killing so many innocents (maybe because he didn’t). And when he, like every other young American, posted about the occurence on social media feed Twitter, they couldn’t believe a bomber would have the nerve to fake sympathy for an event he himself was responsible for (which again, he may have not been).
The fact that he fled, that he was found hiding, only confirmed people’s beliefs he was guilty; why would one possibly hide after being labeled on every “wanted” poster in the country as a terrorist that needs to be turned in to government officials to be tortured and punished, the same officials that killed his older brother without repentance or explanation? Only a guilty coward would hide from that!
Republican senators are now insisting that Dzhokhar be an exception to the fifth and six amendments and be denied Miranda rights, and rights to a lawyer. (Read more here). In other words, he should not even be given the chance to prove his innocence since the crime he is a suspect for…killed lots of people? Very logical, those Republicans. If they can make an exception for that, then who is to say they won’t be able to make an exception to the abolished death penalty in the state of Massachusetts? In fact, if exceptions like this can be made solely on the opionions of a few in power, why create laws at all?
My opinion? Well first, I’d just like to say that I am proud to be an American, and as a part of an entire country of immigrants that does place a certain emphasis on freedom, I do not believe all government is bad. But, in this case, I do find some government officials the most suspicious of all. The FBI had been following the two brother’s every move for several years, but somehow did not see this massive bombing, which clearly required a good bit of planning, coming. They were seen at the bombing site before the explosions, communicating with previous suspects. They confirm Dzhokhar has no connections with any terrorist groups, that he poses no threat in the future, and that they are sure they have found the right person. In fact, according to the latest news, police are absolutely confident there are no other suspects. So, perhaps we can open our minds to the possibility that the idea that the whole thing is a setup, or at least part of something much greater, is not as ridiculous as most people think, after all.
Oh, and how convenient that they should frame a Muslim who happened to become a U.S. citizen on September 11, when the truth is that most acts of terrorism are those by non-Muslims. Why not jump at the chance to play on the fresh fears of the American people in combination with painful memories of past terrorist attacks? What better opportunity to act as heroes and gain the trust of The people than to comfort a country by saving them from harmful attacks, even ones that you may have planned yourself? Dzhokar has not been to trial yet, but apparently his punishment is already being discussed. The American People are more eager than ever to just “get rid of him”; an eye for an eye seems to be the popular stand these days. Why people get so excited about imposing cruel and unusual revenge on another, I will never understand.
I believe in compassion for ALL human beings, not compassion for some, or most, or compassion for those who are not suspects of a crime. Without any proof, one suspect has already been killed, and the other has been captured alive and will most likely be condemned to death before due process is served. From the point of view of the suspect, Dzhokhar loses either way. If he is guilty, he will be punished, or more likely, killed. If he is not guilty, he will be secretly tortured by the government until he admits that he is guilty, or “accidentally killed in another shootout” if he doesn’t admit to the crime. Clearly, he is guilty until proven innocent, except in this case he doesn’t really have the option to prove his innocence, either.
Terrorist bombs kill hundreds of innocent civilians around the world on a daily basis, many of whom reside in countries towards which our taxpayer dollars go; In fact, that is exactly what the military is: they take normal teenagers, teach and brainwash them to kill, and then they go and kill in the name of their own countries, but this a rant for another day entirely. But, because we all live inside the tiny American bubble of ignorance, these things are not given adequate coverage by mainstream media. The government believes what it wants, and the people follow. The government does what they want, and the people approve. The death penalty is imposed upon innocents because the judge decides they are guilty. The “government” is not God; it is a group of human beings, just like you and me, with good and bad in each person. But ideas such as disagreeing with the government instill so much fear in some, that they refuse to even take a moment to consider such a possibility. The government does not agree with wearing baggy pants, smoking natural plants, or same-sex marriage, so anyone who does is punished.
But, this is how the world works. If Dzhokhar is not guilty, injustice has been served on a platter and every American has accepted a peice. If he is in fact guilty, then hundreds of innocents died anyway. Whether we catch the bomber or not, it is a lose-lose situation; there is no victory in cases such as this. It breaks my heart into little, itty bitty pieces to see all the injustice, the ignorance, the pure evil that lies in the hearts of so many others, the preventable social issues amidst the natural and inevitable suffering already in existence (In fact, just in this past week, I have come across reports of a housefire, a company that laid off 75 of its employees, and four deaths of young students, all within a 20 mile radius of my house). I just can’t believe the number of people unable to open up their minds and their hearts, so brainwashed by the government that they lack the ability to think differently as individuals, with the worst part of it all being that they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Perhaps it does not matter either way, in the end. Don’t we all just want peace?
I’ve been keeping up with the daily updates on this story, and the comments I have seen have not yet ceased to bother me. So, let me start over, and keep it short and simple: I am sorry. I am so sorry to all of the victims of the bombing and their families, and I am even more sorry that such cases are becoming more and more common each day. I can’t imagine the pain that these people are going through, and the fact that this happens all the time to other people around the world does not downplay the horridity of this event, so I am truly sorry.
But I also cannot understand the blind hatred, the ignorance, the stereotyping, and the judgments I see everywhere. I am in no way siding with conspiracy theorists, nor am I supporting the suspect. But I am a firm believer in our constitution and innocent until proven guilty.
First of all, there is not yet one solid piece of evidence that the suspect is guilty. The videos? They’re posted by our government’s media, and they are dark–we can’t really see what’s going on. The color of the backpacks of the suspects don’t even match what the stories are saying, and the videos don’t show anyone actually placing the backpacks/bombs. In the “shoot-out”, the suspect was unarmed, which means the police were shooting at them, not the other way around. And most recently, I hear, “he confessed!”. I just want to point out that anyone would confess when subjected to days of “interrogation”, or torture, by the government–it is not uncommon (Salem witch trials, various psychological studies, other past events, etc). So far, all I’ve seen is what the news has claimed itself, and that is far from proof. From what we see, the brothers were clearly relaxed, friendly, fun-loving teenagers who have no contact with any terrorist groups.
Secondly, let us suppose for a moment that he is guilty. This would be greatly upsetting in a way, because it is sad to see such a normal teenager turn to cold-blooded hatred in a short period of time. It would be comforting as well, because we would finally get some answers and some justice, or something close to it. If he is guilty, then of course he should be punished. But there should be a trial to prove he is guilty, and his punishment should do just that–punish him. Make him realize that what he did was unacceptable, and give him time to process that. But is it so hard to remember that he is a human being? As horrible his actions and even his intentions may have been, he was a normal guy with a normal life and family and friends that loved him. Capital punishment is actually cruel and unusual revenge, and to those that are in such a hurry to have him executed, (on live television!), you are no more heartless than he is.
And lastly, the stereotyping and judgments. Sometimes, I don’t even bother to argue with the people that say all Muslims are terrorists because that is just the epitome of closed-minded, heartless, ignorance. How difficult is it to understand that the actions of a few radicals cannot represent the entire population of a group of people? Islam literally means, “peace”, and I have been taught nothing but the importance of education, and using it for the betterment of society in a way that does not harm or impede on the basic rights of another. I am a Muslim, and I believe in freedom, education, tolerance, patience, kindness, compassion, love, giving, life, and peace. These are the only concepts that I believe in, and these are the very concepts that every action of my life is based upon. Having said that, it is both upsetting and laughable to see comments like, “Charitable Muslims is an oxymoron”, and “My suggestion is to deny all Muslims entrance into OUR America”.
Just find out who was responsible for the bombings and support it with solid evidence. Give the suspects their rights as American citizens and hold a fair trial. If they are guilty, then punish them in an appropriate manner that is beneficial to well-being of one and all, and then leave revenge, continued anger, and blind ignorance behind.
*I apologize if anyone was offended by any of the ideas in this post. Nothing I have written was intended to cause harm or feelings of turmoil. It is composed entirely of my own opinions in an open forum, and you may feel free to respond as you wish, as that is the beauty of the freedom of speech!