"The Sword of Islam"
Tsarnaev and the Tamerlan of history and literature
Finding reason in horrible acts of violence like those perpetrated in Boston last week can be difficult. Writing in the Catholic World Report, Anne Hendershott, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Affairs, asks why the attacks “made perfect sense” to the bombers, and argues that the two bombers may have “been tacitly encouraged to do something like this since they were children.”
“While their mother claims that her sons were ‘set up’ by the FBI,” Hendershott writes, “the fact that her eldest son’s name was Tamerlan—the name of the vicious Islamic conqueror of the 14th century who destroyed ancient cities and slaughtered millions—reveals that she may have admired the conquests of the great Muslim victor.”
Tamerlan, the historical warrior of the Islamic faith, described himself as “The Sword of Islam.” During his conquests, he “defeated the Christian Knights at Smyrna, captured Turkey and Egypt, and viciously razed the cities of Damascus, Khiva, and Baghdad in an attempt to make his capital at Samarkand the first city of the Islamic world.”
Boston’s Tamerlan, Hendershott argues, “presented himself as another “Sword of Islam.” On his YouTube account, two videos were listed under “terrorists,” and one video is dedicated to the prophecy of the Black Banners of Khurasan. Hendershott explains, writing that “According to Black Banner prophecy, early Muslim leaders took the flag into battle and were martyred, but then ‘the flag was taken by a Sword amongst the Swords of Allah and and Allah made them victorious.’”
It is at least possible, Hendershott concludes, that Boston’s Tamerlan may have believed it was his destiny to “carry the Black Banner of his namesake. His supporters will also.”
Click here to read the full article on CatholicWorldReport.com.
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