He Seemed Like Such a Nice Guy
The news is filled with comments made by people who knew the Boston Marathon bombers that they were "nice", regular people. They cannot believe that the Tsarnaev brothers could be violent. This is not the first time we have heard such observations, but there is an added dimension. What happened was not just violence, but jihad.
By jihad I mean the "kill the Kafir" (non-Muslim), not the spiritual struggle that the apologists for Islam like to dwell on. References to jihad as "spiritual struggle" are minimal. As one measure, Bukhari collected the most important traditions of Mohammed, called Hadith. Out of 7000 of these traditions, about 1500 of them are about jihad. Of these 1500 jihad hadiths, nearly 1400 are about "kill the Kafir" jihad and only a 100 or so are about jihad as spiritual struggle. This indicates Mohammed thought that jihad as war was the much more important aspect.
Mohammed preached the religion of Islam for 13 years in Mecca and converted only a 150 people. He was driven out of Mecca and went to Medina. In Medina he became a politician, jihadist, and warlord. He averaged a jihad event on the average of 1 every 6 weeks and as a result every Arab was converted to Islam. The religion of Islam was a failure, but politics and jihad triumphed absolutely. Mohammed talked a lot about jihad, because it worked.
The important factor here is that Mohammed is believed to be the perfect Muslim. The Koran says so over 90 times. If the perfect Muslim is a jihadi, and Allah loves a jihadi, then jihad is a sacred act. That means that the Tsarnaev brothers had an internal guidance system provided by Islamic jihad doctrine.
The Tsarnaev jihadi brothers were not violent for personal gain. They were the manifestation in the world of the hand of Allah. Angels support them. The archangel Gabriel was a jihadi against the Jews. Jihadis do not kill settling a personal grudge. Jihadis are to harm Kafirs because Allah hates the Kafirs and plots against them. The Kafirs offend Allah by their rejection of Islam.
Being a jihadi is not a personality disorder; it is not a psychosis or even a neurosis. Jihad is the supreme spiritual ecstasy of human experience. The jihadist is greeted by the angels and his wounds carry him across judgment day to the supreme heaven. The jihadist martyr is taken directly to paradise without Allah's final judgment.
The jihadist brothers were "nice", because deception is the heart of Islam's dualistic ethics. The shortest hadith is only 3 words: "war is deceit," says Mohammed. When Mohammed sent out an assassin against a Jewish poet, he told the assassin to use deceit to get close to the Jew in order to kill him. Mohammed advised deceit if it advanced Islam -- there is no Golden Rule in Islam.
But the main reason that the Tsarnaevs were "nice" is that they only started to truly embrace Islam in the past two years. Tamerlan began to pray 5 times a day and become more religious. Before the immersion in Islam, they could actually be a friend to a Kafir. The Koran has 12 verses that say the Muslim can be friendly with a Kafir, but he is never truly their friend. A Muslim is a brother only to another Muslim, never a Kafir.
Bottom line: the measure of a Muslim is not whether they are "nice" but how closely they follow the doctrine of Islam. The media will be filled for the next few weeks with reports on how nice most Muslims are. Remember that every Muslim is bound by the entire Islamic doctrine. A good Muslim, Sunna or Sharia, must accept all of the Koran, which includes jihad. All Muslims must believe in jihad if they believe in Islam. They may choose not to follow it, but jihad is always there.
Bill Warner is the director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam