One tidbit is so far unmentioned in the legacy media: Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a takfiri.
A takfiri is a Moslem who denounces another Moslem as being insufficiently devout (here’s a voluntaryXchange post from 9 years ago about takfiri).
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was thrown out of the mosque -- the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center -- about three months ago, after he stood up and shouted at the imam during a Friday prayer service, they said. The imam had held up slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of a man to emulate, recalled one worshiper who would give his name only as Muhammad.
Enraged, Tamerlan stood up and began shouting, Muhammad said.
“You cannot mention this guy because he’s not a Muslim!” Muhammad recalled Tamerlan shouting, shocking others in attendance.
“He’s crazy to me,” Muhammad said. “He had an anger inside.… I can’t explain what was in his mind.”
Tamerlan was then kicked out of the prayer service for his outburst, Muhammad recalled. “You can’t do that,” Muhammad said of shouting at the imam.
There’s a lot of casual talk about in the media about whether Tsarnaev was radicalized.
This has just been answered.
For Moslems, there is nothing more radical than denouncing other Moslems. To go so far as denounce an imam in a mosque during the main prayer service of the week is … off the charts.
There is a weak analogy here to Christianity: it would be unacceptable to denounce a priest or minister during services.
The weakness of that analogy though, is that in Christianity those leadership positions are official — so it’s at least conceivable that someone could perceive that they must denounce someone who is using a position of power inappropriately, and that reasonable people could understand that.
But an imam, in the Sunni faith Tsarnaev was raised in, isn’t likely to any more than a volunteer using his devoutness to lead others forward in prayer.
So Tsarnaev’s actions are more like denouncing a deacon or youth group leader who’s volunteered for a position that requires speaking in front of the congregation. That’s twisted.