Community Reaction to Bombing Suspects

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tricia Rose, professor of Africana Studies and director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity at Brown University, and author of The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-And Why It Matters, and Mohamed El Filali,  executive director of The Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, NJ, discuss the complex reactions when we think and talk about the religion and ethnicity of the Boston bombing suspects.


Mohamed El Filali and Tricia Rose

Comments [74]

@Martin Chuzzlewit:
While Andrew Sullivan may very well be right in this case (at least in large part), I would nonetheless urge you to read the following:

Which is a post by blogger Rob McGee that accuses Sullivan of romanticizing his HIV-positive status and thereby, effectively, encouraging irresponsible, inordinately high-risk behavior.

McGee, who describes himself as a conservative and expresses many views that would clearly align with yours, also says of himself,
"I'm a total homo with no apologies, but please don't call me gay, because it's a stupid word and an even stupider subculture." He is an outspoken critic of many aspects of "mainstream gay culture", as he puts it, including the quotes.

He is refreshingly politically INcorrect and I really think you'll like his writing.

And be sure to checkout , one of McGee's other blogs, as I really think you'll appreciate him-- especially how refreshingly political INcorrect he is.

(Unfortunately, Mr. McGee does not appear to have posted anything since 2011 and I have yet to receive a reply to an email that I sent him over a month ago. I frankly am worried about him, as I have been unable to find any evidence that he still even walks this earth.)

Apr. 25 2013 01:27 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

"Face Mask Disguises"

If Face Mask Disguises that you see in a movie or TV show worked, then all the people who were disfigured in accidents, wars, would have new faces too.

And all the people who had plastic surgery, would have undetectable, natural looking faces.

The technology is not there yet.

Try some other idiotic 9/11 troofer style theory.

Apr. 23 2013 06:51 PM
New York Citizen from NYC.

1. I find it sad that WNYC finds it necessary to treat Muslims as the victims of this murder and American culture as its perpetrator. I wish that Brian had pushed his guests on this nonsensical and callous perspective.

Muslims commit acts of terrorism in Somalia, Mali, Iraq, Lebanon, and acts of large-scale murder on their religious others in Egypt, Syria, the Sudan, India, and elsewhere. Their acts are not an outgrowth of American economic or foreign policy.

There is no evidence that the killers were mistreated in the U.S.

2. Please interview an expert who is actually concerned about how these young men understood their actions as the logical outgrowth of their faith.

Apr. 23 2013 06:49 PM

we all love a juicy conspiracy theory but this case seems rather straightforward. that's why it was so easily solved.

Apr. 23 2013 06:37 PM
Face Mask Disguises and Video Evidence from Mission Impossible Mask problem?

Could a well-resourced clandestine organization,
terrorist organization, or individual have created
Face Mask Disguises to MISLEAD the Video Evidence?

We've all seen Face Mask Disguises on Mission Impossible.
The tech exists and is old. Who might have benefitted
from framing these suspects ?

With the face masks it'd probably have been easy.
The REAL culprit would have known that the whole
area was under video surveillance and that the
resulting images (of 2 people in their face mask disguises)
would appear realistic on video and be traced down...

Not saying that this is ACTUALLY what happened, only that
it MIGHT have...

Comments or thoughts ?

Apr. 23 2013 06:18 PM
Roxanne Fucci from atlanta, ga

Brian, I don't understand the difference between this case and the case of the DC Shooter. The case was the same with an older gentleman bringing in a young man to help him to carry out his crimes. The weapon used was different, and the causalities were also different, but the deaths were the same and the terror was the same. It seems awful to treat this young man differently than the young man in the DC Shooting situation.

Apr. 23 2013 06:00 PM
Greg caulfield from New York

I ran the races in 2006 , it will never be the same way any Moore . I we need get over the Islam. Thing. In USA.

Apr. 23 2013 03:55 PM

I also have to add that that old Russian proverb was modernized:

"Regardless of how long a wolf is being fed, elephant has bigger balls".

So, there is a glimmer of hope...

Apr. 23 2013 12:07 PM

There is an old Russian proverb:

"Regardless of how long a wolf is being fed, it longs for a forest".

Apr. 23 2013 11:58 AM

...these two brothers were/are barely "Chechen".

All reports indicate these two lived almost ALL of their lives as AMERICANS!!

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is an AMERICAN CITIZEN!!


Apr. 23 2013 11:40 AM

You people are morons. You will not learn until you or your loved ones are killed or maimed.

Chechen culture is "warrior" culture - that's why one brother was a boxer, another a wrestler. Chechens were traditionally involved in robbing people, stealing horses, kidnappings. The geography of their mountaneous region supported this activity.

For example, one tradition in Chechnya - in order to marry a man has to "steal" his wife. Of course, some girls know that they will be kidnapped and do it willingly. But often they do not. After they are raped, the girls are given a choice - go back to their family or marry. Guess what they do...

During WWII Chechens revolted against the Soviet rule and were deported by Stalin from their homeland. This New Yorker article is total b/s regarding their history.

Apr. 23 2013 11:35 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Norma, I remember the conversation in my office the day after Pres. Reagan was shot. The 1st reaction from more than 1 co-worker was, "What? Already?" The 2nd was, "I hope he wasn't black." And these were white people saying this!

Apr. 23 2013 11:26 AM
Susan from Manhattan


Apr. 23 2013 11:22 AM

dboy, it's too scary for a lot of people to view that type as being sociopaths. Considering them the "other" gives people a nice and false sense of security... Analogous to the gun in their drawer that will more likely end up being used to shoot the owner in the foot before any "bad guys".

Apr. 23 2013 11:18 AM

dboy, it's too scary for a lot of people to view that type as being sociopaths. Considering them the "other" gives people a nice and false sense of security... Analogous to the gun in their drawer that will more likely end up being used to shoot the owner in the foot before any "bad guys".

Apr. 23 2013 11:18 AM
john from office

A Cousin married a muslim from India and was treated like trash by the family. We had to get her out, that was not a good experience

Apr. 23 2013 11:18 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Bob from Brooklyn: Radicals, racists, & terrorists exist in cultures, nationalities, & "causes" of all types, not just religions.

dboy: Demonize them ALL? Take a look at your own posts--that's exactly what you're doing to ALL religious believers.

Apr. 23 2013 11:15 AM
francyne pelchar from Pelham Bay Park

Their mom got caught shoplifting from Lord and Taylor....this must be myth. L&T does not sell burkas. Maybe she stuffed a few scarves in her purse? Maybe.
for real $$ saving shoplifting, she'd have to steal a burka or two from an ethnic shop.

Apr. 23 2013 11:14 AM
John A

Speaking of the 'face your fears' aspect, I shop 25 times a year at Muslim grocery stores - interesting food for vegetarians. I used to drive to Patterson to do it. No fear involved actually, just glad to keep an eye on things for myself.

Apr. 23 2013 11:13 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

This is more of a Columbine/spree killer situation than some kind of terrorist conspiracy. The fear mongering d-bags in washington and the media are contributing to the collective American mental disorder that results in violent actions like this.

Apr. 23 2013 11:13 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Thought you said you had a niece who married a muslim

Apr. 23 2013 11:12 AM
sha from nj

One (alleged) murderer/maimer is 19 years old. The other was 26. How old would they have to be for the media to cease describing them as "boys"?

Apr. 23 2013 11:11 AM
john from office

Sheldon, I married into the tribe, Jewish inlaws.

Apr. 23 2013 11:09 AM

These two brothers were neither "terrorists" or even "Muslims".


Wannabes, at best.

Violent morons.

Apr. 23 2013 11:09 AM
francyne pelchar from Pelham Bay Park

why can't we demonize the bombers and not demonize the ordinary, regular folks Muslims? Can we be sure that the bomber will get the federal charge and the death penalty. All states should have the death penalty. What were they thinking?

Apr. 23 2013 11:06 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

ha, ha! good one, Rich.

Time to tax religious institutions. We put sales tax on fiction books so it's only fair.

Apr. 23 2013 11:06 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Hey John: Are any of those "hard-working" people you know, black or hispanic?

Perhaps you need one as family, to open your mind up the way it did with your muslim in-laws.

Apr. 23 2013 11:05 AM

As long as we in the US remain ignorant on foreign affairs/cultures, these reactions will be par for the course. A Bill Maher one liner on the Mali conflict comes to mind: "Most people in the US think Mali is one of Obama's daughters'

Apr. 23 2013 11:04 AM

As long as we in the US remain ignorant on foreign affairs/cultures, these reactions will be par for the course. A Bill Maher one liner on the Mali conflict comes to mind: "Most people in the US think Mali is one of Obama's daughters'

Apr. 23 2013 11:04 AM

As long as my reproductive organs are still functioning, I still fear Christian terrorists more than those from any religion.

Apr. 23 2013 11:02 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Well said, mvsqueens. It's a shame that your opinion is a minority in Congress, and pretty much everywhere else. Most people in this country thrive off of fear and war because it's all they know. And the majority fear knowledge and wisdom so don't look for things to improve :(

Apr. 23 2013 11:00 AM
John A

Too much bigotry in this comment section. Islam will remain a force, so it should keep itself current by self-reform.

Apr. 23 2013 11:00 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Baloney !!!
They were called "white" by some TV reporters after the photos were released.

Apr. 23 2013 10:59 AM
martin from Brooklyn

Who are America's most vocal muslim spiritual/intellectual leaders and why are they not being heard in the media? Is there a Cornell West, a Chomsky, a Jackson etc who is stepping up to fly the banner of moderate Islam?

Apr. 23 2013 10:59 AM

Our media can be pathetic - here is a link to an article in Ap 29 New Yorker- - someone I know who lived years in the region says it's the best he's read on Chechen history

Apr. 23 2013 10:58 AM

Bob from Brooklyn ~

Thank you, again.

Apr. 23 2013 10:58 AM
Norma from Manhattan

It's been 50 years, and I vividly remember visiting my grandmother the day President Kennedy was shot. Her greatest fear was that the assassin was Jewish. So, ethnic fears are nothing new. Those of us in minority groups will, unfortunately, have those feelings until society becomes less hostile to us. At 21, I chuckled at her fears,but as I got older and more aware, I found that I had the same reaction to these dreadful acts as she did.

Apr. 23 2013 10:58 AM
Jim B

Regarding the motivation for the bombing, I was very surprised to learn from a Daily Mail report that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the two brothers, was arrested for shoplifting clothing worth $1624 from a Lord & Taylor's, which I have not seen widely covered in the media.

Apr. 23 2013 10:58 AM

can we outlaw religion and myth?

Apr. 23 2013 10:57 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Every time I hear the clip of the Muslim Students Association president from 60 Minutes, I think he & other spokespeople (for various groups) need to be more careful how they express themselves. If Dzhohar Tsarnaev had gone to MSA services & learned more about Islam "it might have helped with what happened"? I haven't heard anyone say he meant it would have helped them carry out the plot, but it wouldn't surprise me--I've seen similar things happen before.

Apr. 23 2013 10:57 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Ed, you are crazy. You are always popping up on this site punching out your nonsense with your monkey fists. You live off your lizard brain, ya weirdo! Stop spreading your fear and lies. There are other gullible dumb-dumbs who may take you seriously.

Apr. 23 2013 10:57 AM
john from office

Sheldon, you made me laugh. Very funny. I just know alot of these people and they are hard working, good people. Their kids will become Doctors and Lawyersaand indian chiefs. While the native born was watch reality TV and listening to rap.

Apr. 23 2013 10:57 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

You're welcome dboy.

Apr. 23 2013 10:54 AM

What really bothers me is how the bomb may have been built. I heard that the explosive was basically gun powder — the explosive content of bullets. The powder from many bullets make a bomb. Maybe gun and ammunition control needs to be our first priority; that way, lone wolves like these two will have a more difficult time building a bomb. We control fertilizer; now we need to control other, more obvious bomb-building stuff.

I don't give a flying fadiddlehopper what religion they are. It doesn't matter. What matters more is making our society less susceptible to violent acts — take care of the poor, regulate or eliminate guns, pay more attention to psychiatric and mood problems. Life is too complicated and, yes, too many people feel that no one cares about them — much less our government (especially Congress).

It's time to rein in those who take advantage of people. Go to the source of the problem and stop fiddling around the edges. We need to stop growing terrorists on our soil.

Apr. 23 2013 10:54 AM

Religious KOOKS!!

Apr. 23 2013 10:53 AM
Ed from Larchmont

But these two men were well-adjusted and well liked. They just believed the wrong thing. Like the Nazis, they weren't crazy, they were just wrong. Still, we must treat them as deadly threats.

Apr. 23 2013 10:53 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Bob, that is rather mean. You are just as close minded as many religious folks you speak of. Try condescension: "weak minded" strength in numbers" etc.

Apr. 23 2013 10:53 AM
Matt from Queens

Obviously, these are a couple of sociopaths we are talking about, so it's ridiculous to even discuss whether they're reflective of Muslim culture, Chechen culture, or any other culture - sociopaths are everywhere.

We also should not overlook the Tsarnaevs' father's claim that Tamerlan was disaffected with the U.S. after his domestic violence arrest, particularly that this restricted his citizenship. Apparently, Tsarnaev was furious that the US was interfering with his "right" to hit his wife.

Bombings are not reflective of Islam or any other religious culture, but misogyny is reflective of EVERY religious culture, not the least of which Islam.

Apr. 23 2013 10:51 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Why do we need Professor Rose, a professor of African-American studies (because that’s what she is), to comment on this issue of Islamic terrorism?!!? Oh, the “OTHER”.
Well, I guess WNYC lumps it all together. Eric Michael Dyson – radical victimhood / race card player – on MSNBC tries to equate the Tsarnaevs to (yawn) discrimination against African-Americans.
This is a lucrative gig for those in the go-to position for left wing cable TV / NPR to come on air and blame it on our discrimination.

“MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Well, see, that’s the important point here because they don’t have the privilege of being anonymous. Speaking of people of color or other minorities, we don’t know yet, but we fill in the blanks. We fill in the blanks with the stereotypes. We fill in the blanks with the profiles. We fill in the blanks with what makes us feel most comfortable that this is an exceptional, extraordinary case that happened because they are this.

So you take one part of the element, that he’s Muslim. But he also might have listened to classical music. He might have had some Lil Wayne. ” ( LINK BELOW)

Apr. 23 2013 10:50 AM
John from Bklyn

Islam, worldwide, has been systematically purchased by Saudi Arabia and converted into a religion of vicious hatred.

Apr. 23 2013 10:50 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Our society gives young people relativism, no absolute truth. But our minds are made for truth, so some young people latch onto any group that claims to have absolute truth, uncritically.

The problem isn't with absolute truth, but that they got the absolute truth wrong.

Apr. 23 2013 10:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

In the first half of the 20th century, socialism and communism provided the ideological cloak for the disaffected and revolutionaries, including nationalists seeking to liberate their countries from colonialism and imperialism.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the abject failure of communism and socialism, many in the Muslim world turned to Islamism instead. Now to liberate all Muslim peoples from all their maladies, real and imagined, the idea of restoring this imaginary Caliphate by supporting the revolutionary Jihad became the only remaining alternative. So Islamism became the revolutionary movement that Communism represented to many a half century earlier on. However, like Communism, this revolutionary movement will fail as well, because technology, science, and the desire for individual freedom are simply more powerful than any ideology or theology. However, science and technology do not satisfy the "spiritual" needs of many people in this world. They offer answers and solutions to many problems, but no hope for the problem of death and hope of an aftermath. The religions offer this (false?) hope.

Apr. 23 2013 10:50 AM

Bob from Brooklyn ~

Thank you.

Apr. 23 2013 10:50 AM

Let's just "demonize" them ALL!!

It's ALL pie-in-the-sky fantasy thinking...yes Ed, we're talking about YOU too!!

Apr. 23 2013 10:49 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Moderator - - Somebody hacked into John from office's account. Help him.

@ED, one Pope per earth is enough.

Apr. 23 2013 10:49 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Radicals, racists and terrorists exist in all religions: Jews, Christians, Muslims.

Religion is for idiots and stupid people.

Apr. 23 2013 10:48 AM
John A

Beautiful clip to play. Jihad the Jihadis. Strive from within and self-repair.

Apr. 23 2013 10:48 AM
john from office

Wow, when John from the office is the most rational commentator, we are really in trouble!

Apr. 23 2013 10:47 AM
William from Manhattan

I'm sorry, but the protestations of Islam pacifism and tolerance are beginning to wear thin. I actually sat down and read the Koran out of curiosity. I came away with an impression of a madman in the desert preaching death to nonbelievers. Perhaps it was a poor translation?

Apr. 23 2013 10:47 AM


Apr. 23 2013 10:46 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

To non-violent Muslims listening...

What other religion propagates hatred like this video was found at the top of the Tsarnaevs’ YouTube account??

“Allegedly” Muslim your guest said?

Apr. 23 2013 10:45 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

It's always the same response from the muslim community - the terrorism and violence of muslim extremists "do not represent islam!" So where does it come from? Misinterpretation of the koran?

Apr. 23 2013 10:45 AM


Apr. 23 2013 10:44 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Islam doesn't have a central authority, so the terrorists in no way stand for all Muslims.

Apr. 23 2013 10:41 AM

Bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit!!!

There was one and only one reason why these guys did it - to earn some credit with Allah and get to a good place in paradise. In their mind they are riding into heaven on the back of that eight-year old boy they killed.

That's it!!!

This is a fundamental Muslim belief and no amout of bullshit will change it...

Apr. 23 2013 10:37 AM
oscar from ny

There's nothing wrong with Islam, Christianity, Judeanism, the book of the dead and the new religion, there are five major books the master gave humanity so that we may learn the in and outs of our lives but it seems that ppl always want to separate themselves from the natural love of our creator because the devil has forever deceived us into his hatred for human kind and he works round the clock to make us just like him, a murdered and a hater.
Now it's obvious the courts need to put this bomber to sleep but what bothers me is that the same hatred he spewed into this world is beign hornested by the same ppl who opposed it...even vengeance is an art and there are many ways we can accommodate it..he who lives by the sword dies by the sword, but we should be careful and ask of ourselves a sence of disency, where not the freaking taliban afteralls..

Apr. 23 2013 10:32 AM
April from Manhattan


Apr. 23 2013 10:20 AM
john from office.

News Flash folks, Muslims have been here for a long time. I know many muslims who are from all over the world. The vast majority are good people who are educating their American children and appreciate the USA. Your children will be working for their chjildren, they actually study and learn.

Lets not get too nuts here. But, anyone that attacks this nation should feel the weight of law enforcment and our might. God bless America.

Apr. 23 2013 10:06 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes, NJ

“In all corners of the earth Christianity and Mohammedanism are coming into collision, and the indications are that a struggle for the mastery is inevitable. The Moslems are burning with anxiety to see such a crisis and such a conflict; but Christianity does not seem to be in a condition to welcome the struggle, as, especially in Europe, it would be almost absolutely impossible to enthuse the masses for a religious contest to the same degree and extent in which this will be possible among the Mohammedan peoples.”
— From a summary of “Christianity and Islam”, an address by Dr. Martin Hartmann of the Oriental Seminary in Berlin in the Literary Digest January 21, 1899.

Apr. 23 2013 10:05 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

PS: Listen to Mellowhype!

Apr. 23 2013 09:57 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Oh boy. I haven't been around here in awhile.

All I want to say is America has become a fascist police state. We have advocates of torture on the right, and a trampling of the Constitution from the left. The laws are imposed unevenly and unfairly, and often for political purposes. It's those with power against those without power, and there is nothing we can do about it except speak the truth.

This should be a warning to those who want to immigrate here: The whole 'freedom' thing is a myth.

Apr. 23 2013 09:53 AM
7eco from Germany

Beyond the damage that was inflicted on life and limb of the victims of Boston, it seems that the main goal of the terrorists was to drive a further wedge into the Western society.

Their identity as Chechens (which few outside Russia had on the radar yet) and the way they were seemingly well integrated and unsuspicious before and after the attack might have a grave effect on Western perception: No matter how friendly and laid-back they are, no matter how long you've known them, they *still* might be a heavily armed terrorist!

This will create an atmosphere of distrust and discrimination which is bound to create new victims and acts of vengeance back and forth.

It's sad but there seems to be little at hand to counteract this, seeing how well especially the younger brother played his role.

Apr. 23 2013 09:50 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Before the usual BLS gig here of the usual guests rounded up to scream discrimination against Muslims .....

EVERYONE should watch THE SCARY, HAUNTING SHORT (2 minute) VIDEO (“The Emergence of Prophecy”) that was ON THE TSARNAEVS’ YouTube PAGE …… linked from Andrew Sullivan’s column yesterday entitled: “Yes, Of Course It Was Jihad.” LINK BELOW:

Tip of the hat to LEFTY Andrew Sullivan who never gets sucked in with the apologists in his ideological camp. He doesn’t allow the cool, calm murderers to become the “victims” here. He notes that they specifically went to kill and dismember innocent civilians on a sunny afternoon.

Apr. 23 2013 09:50 AM
John from NYC

I have a question:

Mainstream political and cultural commentators have been highly critical of "fundamentalist" Christianity’s stands on:

- The roles and rights of women
- Gay rights
- Science in general
- Evolution in particular
- Etc.

Are we allowed to similarly question Islam on these issues, or does Islam have a privileged position that shields it from such questions?

Apr. 23 2013 09:49 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.