I am one of those people who just will never be able to grasp why terrorists do what they do to innocent people – just to prove a point. I never have understood why killing innocent people is something that they feel they need to do in order to get their message across to the rest of the world. There are so many other ways of expressing yourself that it just seems so pointless and senseless to me.
I digress though. That is not what this post is about. After the April 15th bombing of the Boston Marathon, Tamerlan Tsarnaev (one of the suspected bombers) was killed during a shootout with police. Nobody wished to accept the body for burial. It took over a week before Tamerlan’s final resting place was found – in a small Islamic cemetery off a rural road here in Caroline County, Virginia.
Martha Mullen, a Richmond area woman, helped make the arrangements for Tamerlan’s burial at Al-Barzakh Cemetery, a private cemetery on Sadie Lane in Doswell, Virginia. Tamerlan’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni (who lives in Maryland), took possession of his body after efforts to have him flown home to Russia where his mother lives fell through. Mr. Tsarni received a call from Ms. Mullen informing him of the arrangements.
People of ill repute are buried every day, so why should this situation be any different you might ask? Simply because it was done in secret and not publicized until after the fact. Tamerlan was laid to rest on May 9th, and it was not reported by local radio, television and newspapers until this past weekend.
Tamerlan had no ties to Virginia, so many people are asking, “Why here?” and wondering why we should allow this man to remain buried here in Virginia. The burial took place without Caroline County officials knowledge, and others are hoping that this burial will not create a backlash against central Virginia’s Muslim communities.
Yes, there are local Muslims and residents and county officials who are shocked and outraged that this decision was made without their knowledge. Put yourself in Ms. Mullen’s shoes for a moment. She has been reviled and maligned by friends and family for her part in facilitating this burial.
That’s difficult. Especially when, being a Christian, you are called to reach across the divide and work with others that are not like you, to do what God calls each of us to do, and behave in a forgiving and Christian manner towards all that we come into contact with.
That being said, yes, I was shocked to learn that Tamerlan’s final resting place was to be here in Virginia. No, I do not have plans to go and visit the burial site, nor do I wish for his final resting place to be violated or desecrated either. I think he should be left in peace, as he is being judged by the only One that can judge any of us.
So what do you think? Do you feel that the local residents and Muslim community should have been given the opportunity to express their feelings on having Tamerlan buried in their community beforehand?