Outside the courthouse where the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is slowly getting under way, one woman stands a lonely vigil. Her name is Karin Friedemann, and she’s Tsarnaev’s number one fan. Her devotion to the young man she calls “Jahar, the kid” led to a well publicized skirmish last December with one of the victims of the bomb blasts.
She describes herself as “insignificant” in the eyes of the media. And she almost certainly is. But her attitude regarding Muslim terror is not insignificant. In fact, it’s alarmingly popular among the conspiracy fringe.
I set off to find out what makes Friedemann (who also goes by the name Maria Hussain) tick. I asked her why she would devote her time to defending Tsarnaev. She was more than willing to share.
Friedemann: As I told reporters, I am advocating for a fair trial for the kid. Bill of Rights has to apply to the least of us, or else it doesn”t apply to any of us. So far, no evidence has been revealed to the public, so we have to assume he’s innocent, or in any case we have the right to know the truth of what happened because it’s obvious the media and government are making up stories.
I”ve seen this before: people with an ideological agenda cribbing the language of the Innocence Project. “We just want to make sure everyone gets a fair trial.” Great, fine. Who can disagree with that? But then I quoted one of Friedemann’s own blog posts back to her:
Cole: “Jahar seems resigned as a noble Chechen would be, to the fate of Allah.”
That’s about as non-objective a statement as I”ve ever read. Many, many people in the U.S. fight for the rights of the wrongly accused, but you”d never catch them making such a statement. May I ask what your particular bias is? Is it religious? Is it “conspiratorial?” Or do you just like this kid on a basis more personal than political?
Getting ideologues to spout about their bias is as easy as getting a monkey to fling poo.
Friedemann: His family has told supporters that he would rather die than plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, and I believe that this kind of level of personal integrity is part of being a real Muslim, especially in the Chechen interpretation of it.
I have been following FBI railroading of Muslims for over a decade, so I believe it’s more than probable that he is either innocent or else there is FBI involvement. My emotional involvement in the case is, I guess, not only because it’s local but because a whole entire family has grown around it. Every family that has lost a son has now new connections with the other families and their supporters. It’s a very exciting and vibrant community to support prisoners in general, but in this case it’s all live on Twitter so there are so many very young people waking up to the fact that governments lie. For most of them it was a coming of age.
So I had to ask:
Cole: Have you ever encountered a case in which a Muslim, of free will and not FBI or CIA backed, has killed people?
Friedemann: I have not come across it in this country. Muslims generally come here for the freedom. If there is proof of his involvement in the bombing (other than a photo of him on a cell phone) then my next question would be, what is the bigger picture? His brother had been approached by the FBI to become an informant. Traditionally, if you refuse, they destroy your life. This could be that.
And now it gets fun:
Cole: But isn”t there an incompatibility to, on the one hand, the idea that the U.S. government attacks, torments, provokes, and oppresses Muslims”and to then claim, on the other hand, that Muslims never get angry enough to attack back? If it’s true that no Muslim has ever killed of his/her own free will, then isn”t it the logical extension that we needn”t fear repercussions from our policies in the Muslim world? If, for whatever reason (religious, genetic, upbringing, etc.) Muslims can”t murder, then where is the risk to the U.S. when it comes to pursuing a foreign policy of intervention and aggression? Heck, it seems to me that taking the position that Muslims never kill only encourages the type of U.S. foreign and domestic policies you probably despise. I mean, what do we have to fear, right?
Friedemann: Well, do you know of any Muslim that committed a crime?
Cole: I”m asking a theoretical question, Karin. I”ve never known a Hindu who had measles, but all logic and science point to the fact that a Hindu CAN get measles, like any other human. If someone were to argue that a Hindu can”t get measles, my own limited scope of personal, practical experience would be meaningless. Rather, it would be up to the person making the claim to demonstrate why Hindus can”t or don”t get measles. Therefore, when you argue that Muslims don”t kill, the responsibility is on you to explain why. Is it the faith? Is it genetic? Is it their upbringing? Is it some other factor?
Friedemann: I am aware that there is a lot of fighting going on that involves Muslims overseas, but in the USA, I have been following most of these cases very closely, and I have yet to see any act of violence that was successfully perpetrated by a Muslim immigrant, and in almost every case the FBI was involved.
Homeland Security/FBI is to Muslims what the Nazi Gestapo was to Jews. They generally get imprisoned for “thinking about” doing a crime or having a strong opinion about politics, or fund-raising for charities.
Well, there was that one guy who was a military veteran who shot a bunch of soldiers, but he was probably having PTSD and freaked out.
Regarding the Boston bombing suspects, there simply was no motive, no suspicious behavior, and no bomb making materials found. They loved this country and had a lot of friends. They were not mentally deranged. The only organization they had ever been involved with was the FBI, which had been pressuring Tamerlan to become an informant. In many cases, after a Muslim refuses to work for the FBI, they retaliate by destroying their lives. It happens again and again. That’s why it’s wisest to be skeptical.
I”ll be the first to admit, I was having fun at this point.
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