Since Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama has repeatedly told the American people that al-Qaida — indeed Islamic terrorism — is dead.
On Nov. 1 in Green Bay, Wis., he said, “Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.” Note that this was after the raid on Benghazi.
Muslims living in America know better, and have kept their fingers crossed. Almost from the moment after the bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Apr. 15, people across the nation said, “Please don’t let them be Muslim.” Those expressing those sentiments didn’t get their wish.
Syrian-born Jwanah Qudsi wrote in University of Washington’s “The Daily” after the attack, “Like most Arabs around the world right now, I’m going to sit here with my eyes glued to my computer screen, checking for news, hoping any potential suspect isn’t who I’m afraid they could be” — a Muslim.
Guest columnist Arsalan Iftikhar wrote in the Seattle Times, “Please, God, don’t let the Boston Marathon bomber be a Muslim.”
In an apparent answer to their prayers, NPR Correspondent Dina Temple-Raston gleefully opined on Thursday that all the signs pointed to it having been the act of a right-wing extremist.
None of these people got their wish.
We now know that the terrorism was the act of two brothers, Tamerlan Tzarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar of Chechen descent.
The Chechens, a largely Muslim ethnic group in North Caucasus, have resisted Russian rule for centuries. According to a 2010 Council on Foreign Relations report, there have been ties between Chechen terrorists and al-Qaida.
Chechen Islamic extremists have engaged in numerous acts of terror in the region, but none so horrific as one initiated by Shamil Salmanovich Basayev, a Chechen rebel leader.
In September 2004, Basayev ordered an attack on a school in the North Ossetia town of Beslan. A three-day siege resulted in over 300 deaths, mostly children.
Chechen rebels have also engaged in numerous bombings throughout Russia, many of them in Moscow, including apartment buildings, shopping centers and train stations.
Recently, Chechen Islamic extremists have joined up with rebel forces in Syria in their jihad to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
Al-Qaida is on the run alright, and they’re running right here. Again.
The following is Temple-Raston’s NPR opinion.
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