No Mercy For You, Says Mosque to Boston Bomber’s Family…

… The Soup Nazi would be proud.

American authorities have told the family that they can have Tsarnaev’s body, and an uncle approached the mosque to request a burial and funeral but was declined, said the aunt, Patimat Suleimanova.

She said that she did not know the name of the mosque but that it was one the family attended. A mosque in Cambridge, Mass., has said that Tsarnaev attended and occasionally caused disruptions and that mosque leaders threatened to kick him out.
A spokesman for the mosque, run by the Islamic Society of Boston, has said that congregants have been questioned by the FBI. The mosque did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday from NBC News.

Earlier this week, Imam Talal Eid of the Islamic Institute of Boston told The Huffington Post: “I would not be willing to do a funeral for him. This is a person who deliberately killed people. There is no room for him as a Muslim.” [SOURCE]

This smacks of unforgiving callousness. Sure Tsarnaev was a despicable and disturbed individual but can you imagine the pealing public outcry from amnesty groups if we started refusing proper burials for prisoners? Are not convicted murders who “deliberately killed people” deserving of human dignity as well? What is the difference in this instance?

The Catholic Church teaches that burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy and to pray for the deceased is a spiritual work of mercy. Mercy is seriously lacking in this particular example. Can you imagine hearing that there was no room for you as a Catholic?

What does Islam teach about mercy and forgiveness? Perhaps one of our writers in the Muslim portal can address this and explain the Iman’s actions. Can it even be explained and excused? Personally, from what Catholics know and believe about God and His infinite mercy I can’t really see any justification. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested or open to a discussion on the matter. As appalled as I am, I am equally curious. It would never in a million years even occur to me to refuse someone a burial. It seems so… so, inhuman. Disturbingly inhuman.

As someone commented on facebook, wouldn’t it be something if the archdiocese of Boston agreed to give Tamerlan Tsarnaev a burial; not a Catholic burial, but out of charity saw to it that the arrangements were made at least.

Updated: Shows ya what I know. Apparently Catholics used to do it too. Most notoriously, in 1986 mobster Anthony Spilotro was denied a Catholic funeral. So how does that jive with our own spiritual and corporal works of mercy then?

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Steve

    While, yes, I do agree that burying the dead is a moral obligation, I do also try to think about it from the point of view of the mosque. These people, who I am assuming are basic, decent individuals are most likely deeply distressed by yet another member of their faith killing random people for no reason and are probably desperate to distance themselves and their deeply held beliefs from the carnage that these people cause. Does this make it excusable? No. Does this make it understandable? Yes.

    I wonder how Catholics might react if we were regularly associated with violent terrorism and another Catholic man died while committing these acts. I can imagine a lot of our fellow Catholics saying that he would not deserve any kind of funeral out of disgust for his actions. It doesn’t change whether or not the action is objectively wrong, though.

  • nitnot

    The city will probably end up burying him with the other paupers. But it would be something if the Archbishop would make it happen.

  • tedseeber

    For the soul of Tamerlan Tsarnaev

    O my Jesus, pardon us, and save us from the fire of hell; draw all souls to heaven, especially those most in need.

  • Cliff Towle

    Ultimately, our goal is to be received into Heaven with the saints & angels. In pursuit of that goal, sometimes “tough love” is required. Making an example for the edification of the faithful may not feel “nice”, but it may be necessary.

  • Romulus

    I doubt it. The truth is that some Catholics wanted to deny Ted Kennedy a scandalous public spectacle shamelessly promoting him as a moral exemplar. I am one of them.

    • Roseanna Hatke

      As am I. We want to deny Biden and Pelosi Holy Communion (and rightfully so, although our bishops don’t agree), but still give Ted Kennedy a huge Catholic funeral? That is hypocrisy and public scandal. Shame on our “shepherds”!. Is it any wonder that those outside the Church believe that “money talks” when it comes to such things?

  • laura_PH

    After a terrorist attack, we’re always treated to the “religion of peace” mantra by the media. People – especially conservatives – wonder where are the moderate Muslims condemning the attack, and why they don’t take a harsher line within their own communities. Well, this group is making it very clear that they believe terrorism is un-Islamic and they will not condone it or treat the offender as they would a Muslim in good standing. I think it’s commendable. Same way I would HOPE that my pastor would deny the likes of Fred Phelps a Christian burial service at our church. We are called in the book of Jude to defend the faith against those who *claim* to be part of our faith yet twist it into something unGodly. We should not accept them as part of our Christian body absent their repentance. I don’t know if there’s a comparable teaching in the Qu’ran but I do think the mosque is in the right in this case.

  • bearing

    I wouldn’t expect them to justify it based on what Catholics know and believe about God and His infinite mercy. I would expect them to justify it based on what Muslims believe about God and mercy.

    That said, I am curious about what beliefs make the difference.

  • Joe Gobbini

    To just bury a corpse is a work of mercy, but to bury it with religious rites on consecrated ground is a sacramental. It is a moral duty for a Christian to give some kind of burial to a corpse that nobody else wants to take care of, but to bury it with Christian rites in a Christian cemetery is not a duty, and may even be unadvisable. For instance, it would be out of place to give a Christian burial to a non-Christian, or to an unrepented murderer.

    As for moslems, they have no notion of sacraments, and thus for them any decent kind of burial will do. Religious authorities don’t have to be involved, and in this case they obviously prefer not to. In a moslem country the Tsarnaev brothers would have been hailed as saints and martyrs, but here in the US the mosque authorities find it more advisable to keep a low profile.

  • Fiddlesticks

    Historically, lots of people were excluded from Christian burial – esp. suicides and unbaptised babies.

    I don’t entirely blame the mosque from refusing burial. It’s the strongest message that the American Islamic community can send that these actions weren’t done in their name.