One can only begin to imagine the moment; huddled beneath a tarp, severely wounded from a shootout with police, his brother and accomplice dead potentially by his own hand, hiding from one of the largest manhunts in American history, and all but certain that death was imminent. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev scribbled what he likely believed to be his last words.
As the administration and media work to increase the distance between Islam and terrorism, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's note seems to paint a vastly different picture. CBS News reports:
The note -- scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin -- said the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims "collateral damage" in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. "When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims," Tsarnaev wrote.
Dzhokar said he didn't mourn older brother Tamerlan, the other suspect in the bombings, writing that by that point, Tamerlan was a martyr in paradise -- and that he expected to join him there soon.
Meanwhile, Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), released an article last week entitled "A Word of Truth on Jihad and Islam" wherein he states, "There is a growing attempt by some commentators to label the recent bombings in Boston as 'jihad' and to blame the deadly blasts on a non-existent concept they call 'radical Islam.'" Radical Islam doesn't exist, he wrote, "because radicalism or extremism is not permissible in Islam." That's a bit like saying there are no murderers in the United States because murder is illegal.
Given the suspect's own admission, it is a gross mischaracterization to classify this brutal attack on American soil as anything but a product of radical Islam. Tsarnaev seems to disagree with Awad by addressing not only what he believed to be the universality and singularity of the Muslim faith but also by his firm belief that he and his brother would be shuhada (martyrs) for that faith.
Awad is free to explain why Tsarnaev may be mistaken, or to make it plain that Tsarnaev's views are not shared by the vast majority of Muslim Americans. But don't tell us it doesn't exist. It's scrawled on the inside of a boat in Watertown, Mass.