COMMENTARY | After the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, it didn’t take long for pundits to start speculating on who the bomber might be. And rather than sift through the evidence and seek input from locals who might have provided valuable intelligence, people played the speculation game, unfairly pointing the finger at Muslims and political conservatives.
Sure, you can say that the bombing suspects caught or killed were Islamic fundamentalists, but take a closer look. Do you think those two bumpkins could name a single pillar of Islam? Had either of them ever opened a Koran, instead of reading some exaggerated text online?
Sean Hannity on his radio show claimed that the bombers did it because they hated America, its freedoms and its Constitution. Could either of those two jokers even pass a Constitution quiz?
It’s clear that the two were a pair of losers who were given every opportunity America can offer and blew that opportunity. The family got in trouble for shoplifting, drugs, and beating up a girlfriend. The two are hardly master al-Qaeda assassins, as their inept escape plan proved. Their only notable accomplishment was not killing themselves while building the bomb. Calling themselves part of some Islamic cause sounded a lot nobler than their real reasons, which weren’t too different from what motivated spree shooters in Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tucson, and Columbine.
Equally reprehensible as blaming all Muslims was pointing the finger at political conservatives. How many claimed it was some right-of-center individual because it was “Tax Day,” “Patriot’s Day” or close to the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing? Just because you are concerned about the growth of the federal government isn’t a motive for murder.
Sure, you could give examples of Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, or the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum. But they were no more of a true political conservative than the Chechen-Americans were true Muslims. I doubt McVeigh and the others could even name a single article of the Constitution. Again, those folks were misfits who wrapped themselves in the American flag because it sounded more “honorable” than petty jealousy and life’s disappointments.
We should think about that next time there’s another terror attack and we rush to blame another political group without a shred of evidence.
John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga.