An Islamic burial, returning tolerance for intolerance
It is a tenet in Christianity that one should turn the other cheek, that one should not return violence for violence. Granted, the Bible also says ‘an eye for an eye’, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We cannot take that biblical justice against Tamerlan Tsarnaev – he’s already dead. What we’re talking about is his burial.
We can be better than him and the other jihadists who hate us for merely being what we are: Americans. We can allow him to be buried in American soil.
To tell the truth, my first thought on this would be that the best solution to the furor would be to cremate him and return his ashes to his parents in Dagestan. Then I looked up a fairly thorough article on Islamic funeral practices and found that cremation is not allowed. Too bad. It would have been an elegant solution.
Shipping his body back to Dagestan has so many things going against it: the cost would be prohibitive, there would have to be negotiations with multiple governments who might not permit his casket to travel through their airspace or a plane carrying it to use their airports. Same if it shipped by water.
So here we are, his family and us, stuck with a body that needs to be buried soon, and no cemetery willing to take him. They don’t want the onus of having a dead terrorist in their care. They don’t want the media and the protesters. They don’t want to have to protect his grave from being desecrated.
There is a way around this, but it will require people of good will in both the public and private sector. I am sure there are Islamic cemeteries in New England. I think it would be more than appropriate for one of them to contact Ruslan Tsarni and offer his nephew a burial place. It will require the assistance of law enforcement for the body to be transported there in secret. Even better if they can help get the family out of the media’s eye to go bury their dead.
Islam discourages ornate grave markers, restricting them to 12″ high of less. It is acceptable to have no marker as such, just a simple rock to mark the grave for the family. A burial with no name on a marker makes it more difficult for the ignorant to find his grave.
Whatever else has happened, there is a little girl and a widow who might, one day, wish to visit and say the prayers for the dead at this man’s grave. They should know where to find it. No one else needs to.
No offense to the media, but they should stay the hell out of this story, and allow this family to bury their dead in peace, away from the public eye, without the public’s knowledge. There are some things, quite frankly, that we have no business knowing.
Denying this family the closure of his burial isn’t punishing him, it is punishing his family.
It is showing us not at our best, as that horrific day in Boston did, but at our worst. We show ourselves to be petty and vengeful and hateful. We cloak our hatred in patriotism and call it right.
Denying Tamerlan Tsarnaev burial is inhumane. It is wrong. We must, for our collective national soul, do what’s right.