Now they are refusing to bury his body. The man alleged to have been the mastermind behind the Boston Marathon Bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is dead and cemeteries are refusing to inter him. It seems like a walk a bit too far off the pier for me. I can understand the anger towards this man. I feel it too. He was a horrible person, a twisted evil man. But he is a dead man. And he can’t hurt anyone anymore. Shouldn’t his family and wife and child be able to bury him? Somewhere? They bury all the other murderers. Why not the Boston Bomber? Why do they protest the funeral home? The person that blew up the Boston Marathon isn’t there. It is a shell, a corpse, a nothing. Throw some dirt on top of it and call it a day.
Funerals aren’t for the dead. They are for the living. And no matter what this man did, he still has a family and they still grieve for the beloved child he once was. One day, not too many years ago, he was just an innocent child. Who knows what brought him here, but he’s dead now and the body is going to start to rot soon. Let his family bury him. Let the world move on.
I have been unable to stop thinking about this. Not just today, but since I first heard the explosion on NPR. The entire experience has been traumatic for me; I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people affected. I cry almost every time I hear anything about the bombing on the radio. I hated Tamerlan as much as the next person. But he’s dead. He can’t hurt you anymore.
The man who slaughtered 20 innocent children and 6 adults trying to protect those children was buried without fanfare only months ago, less than 150 miles away. Nobody refused to bury Adam Lanza’s corpse. Neither one of those two men is less crazy or more evil than the other. They are both monsters. And 26 people dead are certainly more than 3. Death row inmates get buried after they are killed. Often the state has to pay for the burial. Timothy McVeigh and Lee Harvey Oswald were both buried in private, unprotested ceremonies.
Some people argue that he shouldn’t be buried anywhere in this country because he was a foreign terrorist. He might have been a terrorist, but Tamerlan was also legal resident. He lived here lawfully. It doesn’t matter where he was born, what language he spoke, how often he traveled out of the country, he was allowed to live and die in America. If he had died in a car accident he wouldn’t be refused burial based on his immigration status. And anyway, his wife and daughter are American citizens.
If he was Catholic like Adam Lanza, would Tamerlan be buried by now? I wonder. I worry. I am not Muslim, but I cannot stand the backlash against the Muslim community. Many people think it is okay to be racist towards Muslims. Not all of the followers of Islam are terrorists. That is practically incendiary speech these days. It seems we only like Christians in this country. Jews are okay. Everyone else can be either ignored or persecuted at will. The day after the marathon bombings a woman was beaten just for wearing a veil. It makes me sick. Why do people assume the worst of all Muslims? There are plenty of Christian terrorists. No Catholics got beat the day after Sandy Hill.
We don’t have to forgive him or forget what he did. But we do need to bury him in the tradition of his family. It’s a right given to all the other criminals in our country. It’s painfully ironic to me. Everyone assumes he hated America in part because it didn’t accept him and now they still refuse to accept him in his death.
I hope they find him a burial spot soon. Even the least and worst of us deserves a tomb of their own.