Almost an year ago, two Chechen brothers carried out a vicious atrocity in Boston. They attacked hundreds of innocent athletes who were enthusiastically participating in the Boston Marathon. The bombs were detonated near the finish line and the tragedy struck at the heart of Boston. Many runners succumbed to the wounds and precious lives were lost, and for many runners who lost their limbs, their lives were forever changed. A day of recreation ended, and a long quest for rehabilitation ensued.
The Chechen brothers were immigrants to America. Their Chechen roots were marred with violence and bloodshed and they had sought asylum in the US to secure a better and safe future that had eluded them in Dagestan where their family had settled after their exodus from Chechnya. Yet, they adopted a perilous path and took arms against their new homeland, the United States.
The Tsarnev brothers violated the Pledge of Allegiance and betrayed a sacred oath. They were allegedly motivated by their religious beliefs and had become radicalized. Their resort to violence is antithetical to Islamic principles of citizenship. The Holy Quran has clear guidelines with respect to obedience of authority:
"....... and obey those in authority from among you." (4:60)
This verse is a clear-cut injunction of Quran and it becomes obvious that the Boston tragedy was in clear violation of this principle.
To honor those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held blood drives in Boston City Hall on April 11, in partnership with the City of Boston and Boston Athletic Association. Muslims For Life blood drives have to date helped collect 33,000 units of blood, potentially saving up to1000,000 lives since its inception in 2011. It was planned as a cogent rebuttal to terrorism on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to demonstrate that Islam upholds the sanctity of life and strongly condemns bloodshed and violence.
As Boston is gearing itself for the Marathon tomorrow, its readiness sends a powerful message that resonates with the resilience and vitality of this dynamic city. The "Boston Strong" slogan is apt and befitting - infused with confidence and pride that is characteristic of Boston.