Boston Bombers, Social Media, and Jihadism

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With 24 hour news speculation fills air time before confirmed reports come in. Social media is worse, however the sheer scope means following the right people you may get corrections/clarifications before mainstream media do so – and be ahead of the curve in reports flooding in. It is also a chance for people to politicise and make the most absurd renderings out of the carnage.

We had the rants that all Muslims should be killed aka Erik Rush later claiming he was being sarcastic. We know better given he thinks the constitution is allowing Islam to conquer the United States, and immigration reform being put off as people suggest Muslims should be stopped from entering at the border. The typical hard right wing reaction missing these brothers had become citizens. Worse, Russia had expressed concern about one of the brother’s connection to Chechnya Jihadists. The FBI made no links to terrorist groups though his Russian youtube playlists and links had plenty to be concerned about.

Then there was concern on social media that the younger brother was not read his Miranda rights. Despite the public safety exemption being legal, and not unconstitutional. That the police are now hunting a 12 strong sleeper cell suggests that critical time sensitive information needed to be retrieved. [Daily Mirror]

Still one would hope freethinkers would not fall into the hyperbole that appears on social media, recognising that these young men born in Chechnya, living in the USA last ten years. We need the time to piece together how this happened. For me Richard Dawkins spoke well when he said we need to study what made Dzhokhar prepared to carry out such attacks so we can prevent others doing – the death penalty would be self defeating to the public future safety of finding this out from him.

Unfortunately today my twitter timeline revealed we are not immune from crass generalisations:

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Whilst the article itself has quotes clarifying not all Muslims are supporters of terrorists (but “most terrorists are Muslim”) the tweet itself falls short of not inflaming tensions that mainstream media are trying to avoid. Comments are taking that tweet and articles quoted to task:

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Indeed we can remember the IRA and who was funding them to remember that terrorism is not just Islamic. My school by an army stables practised bomb and fire drills – the difference being we ran further and had to take bags with us (this confused teachers as fire national guidelines said kids should leave their bags; military said this would slow down a bomb search). Being in a town centre when a bomb alarm goes off not knowing which direction is safe to go in is not the family outing you want, and my heart bled when it happened in Manchester 1996. Thatcher being laid to rest this week was a reminder that the IRA nearly did that with the Brighton hotel bomb nearly 30 years ago. Nail bombs on train station platforms. Are memories so short?

Clearly whether the brothers were indoctrinated and groomed by Jihadists or of own accord support Caucasian Chechnyan terror groups which led to committing a domestic act of terror, time will reveal. Till then take the speculation with a healthy degree of skepticism as the hard data comes in and is evaluated.

The Boston bombing is being used as a sounding drum for some people’s pet hates. Let us march to a different beat. Foremost Boston you are in our thoughts as we remembered you at the start of the London Marathon here in the UK.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78

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Filed under America, politics, Religion, republican, Richard Dawkins, World

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