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Inside Twisted Terrorist Minds -- Where Is the Empathy?

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"There's no profile, there's no personality, there's no checklist and there is no silver-bullet solution that helps explain why and how people become involved in terrorism," Horgan told LiveScience.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 11:50 am
Photo Credit: Reuters/Newslook

A video of the scene from Monday's Boston Marathon bombing showed people running toward the wounded, trying to help. A flood of support and sympathy poured out all across the Internet. And Bostonians rushed to donate blood and offer spare bedrooms to those displaced by the blast.

Even though a human (or humans) caused the carnage at the finish line, such acts of kindness, as well as a sense of empathy, are actually hard to overcome — even for the terrorists, psychologists say.

"A whole industry of propaganda is aimed" at convincing potential terrorists that their intended victims are worthy of death, said Arie Kruglanski, a psychologist at the University of Maryland who has researched the roots of terrorism. [History of Human Aggression: 10 Ways Combat Has Evolved]

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Inside Twisted Terrorist Minds — Where Is the Empathy?
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 16 April 2013 Time: 03:13 PM ET
Boston Marathon bomb explosion
[Pin It] Two bombs exploded Monday (April 15) near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
CREDIT: Reuters/Newslook
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A video of the scene from Monday's Boston Marathon bombing showed people running toward the wounded, trying to help. A flood of support and sympathy poured out all across the Internet. And Bostonians rushed to donate blood and offer spare bedrooms to those displaced by the blast.

Even though a human (or humans) caused the carnage at the finish line, such acts of kindness, as well as a sense of empathy, are actually hard to overcome — even for the terrorists, psychologists say.

"A whole industry of propaganda is aimed" at convincing potential terrorists that their intended victims are worthy of death, said Arie Kruglanski, a psychologist at the University of Maryland who has researched the roots of terrorism. [History of Human Aggression: 10 Ways Combat Has Evolved]

"Part of the ideological persuasion to get them to do these things is to reduce the humanity of the victims," Kruglanski told LiveScience. "So the victims are perceived not as other human beings, but rather as vermin, as subhuman creatures."

Quest for significance

Two bombs — reportedly stuffed with ball bearings, BBs and headless nails as shrapnel — exploded Monday (April 15) just before 3 p.m. EDT near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. At least 176 people were wounded, and three killed, from the blast. Among the fatalities was 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was waiting for his father to finish the race. Richard's mother and sister were reported as seriously wounded. There are so far no suspects in the bombing.

Terrorists do not fit into a simple mold, said John Horgan, the director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Pennsylvania State University.

"There's no profile, there's no personality, there's no checklist and there is no silver-bullet solution that helps explain why and how people become involved in terrorism," Horgan told LiveScience.

However, there may be some common psychology necessary to carry out such an act, Kruglanski said.

"The underlying motivation is what we call a 'quest for personal significance,'" he said. "They try to do something important, either because they feel insignificant on their own … they were humiliated in some way, or their group was denigrated."

While some people respond to feelings of powerlessness and insignificance by turning to humanitarian aims — becoming a peace activist, for example — would-be terrorists draw on violent ideologies. Violence is a quick shortcut to feelings of significance, Kruglanski said.

"Violence enjoys this very clear advantage, that by striking, by shooting, by exploding a device, a very simple action immediately makes you out to be a significant, heroic kind of person," Kruglanski said.

View of victims

In this worldview, the innocent victims of a bomb are subhuman, at worst, and incidental, at best. Timothy McVeigh, whose 1995 bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City killed 168, famously described the 19 children who died in the blast as "collateral damage."

"For a person who engages in this kind of activity, the immediate victims are meaningless. They're simply a means to an end," Horgan said. [Science of Terrorism: 10 Effects of 9/11 Attacks]

It's hard work maintaining that belief. Horgan, who has interviewed nearly 200 terrorists around the world, said some eventually come to feel remorse for the innocent lives they took. But especially in the moment, many "work very hard to convince themselves that what they've done is righteous."

Though stories of violence may dominate the news, there's good scientific evidence to suggest that humans are wired to care for others. By toddlerhood, children take it upon themselves to be helpful, for example. Even 6-month- and 10-month-olds prefer helpful characters over mean ones, studies suggest. As adults, we quite literally feel others' pain. A study published in January in the journal Molecular Psychology found that when doctors see their patients in pain, the pain-processing regions in their own brains activate.

It's easiest for terrorists to reduce their guilt when they choose a method like a bombing, so they don't have to be nearby to see the damage they've done, Horgan said.

Preventing terrorism

Although it is a major goal of both the United States and the United Nations, terrorism is hard to pre-empt, because terrorists don’t fit into one demographic profile, Kruglanski said. Radicals tend to speak their minds, making them easy enough to identify in the community, Kruglanski said, though not all of those radicals would ever turn to terrorism in any case. Detention centers and prisons also run de-radicalization programs for suspected and convicted terrorists.

Typically, these programs run along two lines: direct and indirect, Kruglanski said. A direct approach would be to confront the terrorist's belief system. In the case of an Islamic terrorist, for example, clerics might come in to explain how fundamentalist interpretations of the Koran are flawed.

This "dialogue" approach can work, Kruglanski said, but not for terrorists, who are very firm in their beliefs, or for leaders who don't appreciate criticism of their interpretations. In these cases, an indirect approach can sometimes help. The goal of these programs is to give a radicalized individual something else to live for, whether a vocation, art or even spiritual practices, such as yoga, Kruglanski said.

"It directs their attention from these collectivistic goals and on to their individualistic lives," he said.

Measuring whether you've prevented someone from participating in terrorism in the future is a difficult task, Horgan said, but it's important to remember that even among radicals, most people won't resort to violence — though terrorists rely on the randomness of their acts to make civilians feel like they or their loved ones could be next.

"The way in which we're talking about the nature of the threat, the way in which we talk about this as some sort of existential problem, I think we need to be very, very careful to avoid that," Horgan said.

"The fact of the matter is, this is a very low-probability event," he said. "We should never, ever lose sight of that."

By: Stephanie Pappas | Live Science |


Tim C (2420)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

JL A (281)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 5:41 pm
Thanks Kit for this provocative article giving us some solid grounds for hope.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 3:32 pm
You expect empathy from sociopaths and mindless automatons?

Since it would appear at least at this point; it may have been a false flag operation my question is this; how long before they actually justify and pass a bill allowing armed drones in American skies?

Say there's a probable target. Light 'em up! What about the neighbors? Nah, they're acceptable collateral damage.

Kristine H (75)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 3:35 pm

Robert B (60)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:45 pm
Gillian, you need to lighten up. Attacking Kit for presenting this article is not fair. Let's face it, ALL religions are incompatible with Human Rights because each religion is misused by some of it's followers. Personally, I think religion prevents people from thinking for themselves. That includes yours.

Robert B (60)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:48 pm
People that commit crimes like this are sociopaths and losers. They mistakenly thinks such an act somehow "elevates" them, when in fact it merely illustrates what sorry losers they really are.

pam w (139)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:58 pm
I agree with Robert B....religion is behind MOST lunacy.

SINCE WE DON'T KNOW YET WHO DID THIS.....accusing Islamiists is a tad premature, isn't it?

Kit B (276)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 7:04 pm

This is not an article that condones any form of violence. It offers some insight to the people that do commit these crimes. They are not now, nor have they ever been of one race, one religion or one cultural background.

I guess some here lack the ability to comprehend the complexities of the article.

Two young men are now on most TV news screens across the country. They are currently "persons of interest" in this on going investigation. Beyond that we do not know anything about them.

Shawna S (45)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 8:44 pm
Can you really get "into" the twisted terrorist mind? The act of terror is a sick one. There is no understanding it or trying to break it down to definable actions. These people act on their own behalf... unconscionable. They're delusional. There is no justice for them.

Continue to be strong. Continue to defy those who do wrong. Continue to be brave.


Rose Becke (141)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 11:49 pm
Brilliant post Kit yet again

Carola May (20)
Friday April 19, 2013, 12:24 am
Robert B, you really should do some studying of 'all religions'. Islam definitely teaches hatred of 'disbelievers'. Its deity says he 'does not love the unbelievers' and commands their killing. There are people in all religions who commit evil acts, but only one religion condones and commands them of its Orthodox followers - Islam.

There are far too many Islamic verses of violence and hate to list here. There are 109 in the Qur'an alone, and far more in the hadith (the sayings and actions of Mohammed) and sirah (his whitewashed bio). But here are just a few to give you a taste:

“. . . slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. . .” Q 9:5 THE VERSE OF THE SWORD ABROGATES SOME 113 EARLIER VERSES

(the Qur'an isn't written in chronological order but you can find it in the correct order here: (Surahs/chapters 5 and 9 were the last written. Much of the Qur'an was lost during the Riddah Wars after Mohammed died when Muslims were killing each other over control and many of the forced 'converts' tried to leave this religion of 'peace and tolerance')

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 327: - “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’” (only the ignorant of Islam could wonder why there are so many Muslim with such disregard for others)

"Instill terror in the hearts of the unbelievers". Qur'an 8:12

"Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: 'I will terrorize the
unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and
incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers
and toes." Qur'an 8.12 (what is ambiguous about this?)

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends." Qur’an 5:51

"Killing unbelievers (non-Muslims) is a small matter to us." Mohammed, Tabari 9:69

"O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you harshness." Qur’an 9:1

"Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah." Mohammed, Ibn Ishaq 992

"Muhammed is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves." Qur’an 48:29

"...for the Prophet said, "If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him." Bukhari 4:52:260

Now, please give us the teachings of Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ that show this kind of hatred, contempt for 'others' and violence. Your, and Pam's and others here, blanket hatred of all religion is pure bigotry. I don't believe in any religion, I believe the Creator is far greater and better than any religion's deity is shown to be, but I do find inspiration and goodness in the teachings of Jesus, Buddha and the Jain masters.

Jesus said there are only two Great Commandments - Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself. Are you classing this with the debauched teachings of hate and violence of Mohammed as being equal? So sad. Read the Gospels, the teachings of Buddha and the Qur'an/hadtih. It's night and day.

BTW I've read the Qur'an, hadith and sirah, and have been studying Islam for over 5 years almost daily. I've read the Torah and the Gospels, as well as the teachings of Buddha (some of which I can't even understand) and the Jain masters. I can see that the world could be a good place under the teachings of these teachers, but a world ruled by Islam would be horrible to me. Just look at Saudi Arabia, the birthplace or Islam where the purest form of Islam is lived. Or any Muslim dominated land - none of which has freedom of religion, speech, conscience or press, nor do they support the UN's Universal Declaration on Human Rights because it contradicts Sharia law.

Compare that to western nations, no matter how flawed, that have laws and cultures based on Judeo-Christian values - totally opposite to those taught by Mohammed. Totally.

Gillian M (218)
Friday April 19, 2013, 2:58 am
This article plays down the terrorist psychology and ignores taught abuses. There are many excellent articles on it out there on the internet and in psychology test books which show why this article is a whitewash.

This article is very clear on what it says and I am pointing out the truth behind Islam which this article obviously ignores. Anyone can read the Koran themselves, there are plenty of translations out there.

Robert, as usual, you ignore the point. Whatever other religions may or may not have done thousands of years ago, no longer happens. Let me know when you find a Christian, Jewish, Taoist, Bhuddist etc country that lashes little girls, who are rape victims, to death, then we can have a conversation about it. When you find such a country that hangs gays, let me know.

The point about Islam and the Islamists/extremists is that they still use the barbaric and horrifying abuses laid out by a sex pervert/paedophile/bandit/rapist/necrophiliac etc. No-one has yet been able to prove that Islam is a religion of peace and love using the koran. The prize money has risen to $100,000. This religion commands that the kufir or non-Muslim is killed some 109 times.

Yet this article plays down the act of terrorism and the reasons why they do it. There is nothing in it about the brainwashing of children especially against Jews (a breach of human rights which is performed in many Muslim controlled countries and Gaza ) is not mentioned. It also fails to mention that Islam is an ideology of hatred which perverts any decent human being. Those that cannot take this often convert to Christianity and Islam commands Muslims to kill the apostate to stop this happening. Islam cannot accept decency or humanity. DV, rape, beatings etc are taught as a matter of course which teaches men that it is acceptable and, indeed, required that vulnerable people or animals can be killed or disabled without penalties. So, throwing acid, cutting of noses, teaching young boys to behead Westerners is common. Raping non-Muslim girls, many from 2 years old, is common in countries such as Pakistan where they still exist. And Egypt has decended from a reasonable quality of life under Mubarak, even though he was a dictator, to an autocracy where no-one is safe. Tourists are raped, abused and arrested as are the Christians whose country it should be.

Of course this ideology will encourage terrorists and terrorism.


Robert B (60)
Friday April 19, 2013, 7:59 am
Carola May, I have never read the Koran, only excerpts. If all the quotes you gave from the Koran are correct then it is not worth reading. I have read most of the Bible and it also condemn non believers to hell, which I also think is a load of crap. Most "holy wrintings" are nothing more than manipulative stories designed to keep the clueless in tow. I stand by my belief that ALL religions are abused by a certain number of it's members and used to violate human rights. I respect other peoples beliefs ONLY if they are based on LOVE, COMPASSION, KINDNESS AND FORGIVENESS. I suggest a fine book "The laughing Jesus" It is an eye opener. I remain respectful, agnostic and skeptical. I saw a good bumper sticker the other day that says it all: "Religion keeps the brain from thinking"

Kit B (276)
Friday April 19, 2013, 9:07 am

Gillian you wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and slapped you in face. Just more of your own personal hatred, which does bring about a certain limited amount of pity.

Robert B. I have read the Qur'an, and many other mystical books. From any of them one can find a few good ideas and many less worthy. One can take anything out of context to make it seem indicative of the greater whole. It's just one more excuse to label hate with so-called reason. There is nothing reasonable about painting all people of a given race, religion or culture, with the same brush.


Gillian M (218)
Friday April 19, 2013, 11:10 am
I would add that it is obvious that you have failed to read or understand the psychology of terrorists nor do you have any comprehension of the mental training of Islam. You also do not follow that the teaching and training of both Hitler and Husseini on the Middle East has had devastating results which we are seeing today.

Understanding the mindset where Bhuddists help Muslims in an earthquake yet use the photos of the assistance to claim that they committed a mass murder is obviously beyond most people, especially Kit. These same people enter Thailand and behead a 9 year old boy in front of his family before gutting them. The army has to protect the monks from these assailants, the monks peace and peace of mind has been destroyed. And the torture and abuses of Christians, Hindus etc in the Middle East and wherever large numbers of Muslims congregate such as Nigeria and Somalia is a required part of Islam, there is good in this ideology? The rape of little girls followed by forced conversions and marriages is acceptable to Kit, this is all in the Koran and preached by imams. The decision to walk out of prayers on Friday evening and to kill the first Hindu that walks past, is good training for someone who enjoys killing yet is part of an horrendous religion in which Kit finds something good.

Personally, I have nightmares over dead children training little children to kill, seeing the Muslim children and non-Muslim children who have been raped, had acid thrown on them and noses cut off. Yet Kit says that this belongs to a book with good ideas.............

And Kit calims that I don't know the truth, yes, I wonder what planet ot dimension she lives on where the reality of the hatred and hate from the Koran does not exist. Absolutely no way has Kit ever read the Koran.

Gillian M (218)
Friday April 19, 2013, 11:21 am
From thereligionofpeace - ex-Muslims who understand the Koran and its teachings slightly more than Kit could.

The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.

Most of today's Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book's many calls to violence according to what their own moral preconceptions find justificable. Apologists cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.

Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad's own martial legacy - and that of his companions - along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.

A selection of quotes explained by those that understand. Kit, where is the good in any of these statements?Remember that the earlier parts of the Koran have been overwritten by the later parts. And to ensure that you understand that this is part of the discussion note "Quran (4:74)" which is used to justify terrorism.

The Quran:

Quran (2:191-193) - "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah." The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word "persecution" by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution - "idtihad" - and oppression - a variation of "z-l-m" - do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from "fitna" which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until "religion is for Allah" - ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

Quran (2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things."

Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

Quran (3:56) - "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority". This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be 'joining companions to Allah').

Quran (4:74) - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle, as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. Here is the theological basis for today's suicide bombers.

Quran (4:76) - "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…"

Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

Quran (4:95) - "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-" This passage criticizes "peaceful" Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah's eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that "Jihad" doesn't mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man's protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

Quran (4:104) - "And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain..." Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

Quran (8:15) - "O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end."

Quran (8:39) - "And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah" Some translations interpret "fitna" as "persecution", but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported by the historical context (See notes for 2:293, also). The Meccans were simply refusing Muhammad access to their city during Haj. Other Muslims were allowed to travel there - just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction. The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad's intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did). Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until "religion is only for Allah", meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the opposition. According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that "Allah must have no rivals."

Quran (8:57) - "If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember."

Quran (8:59-60) - "And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah's Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy."

Quran (8:65) - "O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight..."

Quran (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them." According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam (prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion's Five Pillars). This popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack. Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months). The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by Muhammad and posed no threat. Once the Muslims had the power, they violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

Quran (9:14) - "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..."

Quran (9:20) - "Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah's way are of much greater worth in Allah's sight. These are they who are triumphant." The Arabic word interpreted as "striving" in this verse is the same root as "Jihad". The context is obviously holy war.

Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." "People of the Book" refers to Christians and Jews. According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status. This was one of the final "revelations" from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad's companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30) - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

Quran (9:38-39) - "O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place." This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

Quran (9:41) - "Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew." See also the verse that follows (9:42) - "If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them" This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).

Quran (9:73) - "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination." Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that they are merely firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter. It also explains why today's devout Muslims have little regard for those outside the faith.

Quran (9:88) - "But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper."

Quran (9:111) - "Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme."

Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

Quran (17:16) - "And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction." Note that the crime is moral transgression, and the punishment is "utter destruction." (Before ordering the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden first issued Americans an invitation to Islam).

Quran (18:65-81) - This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion. The story (which is not found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with "special knowledge" who does things which don't seem to make sense on the surface, but are then justified according to later explanation. One such action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74). However, the wise man later explains that it was feared that the boy would "grieve" his parents by "disobedience and ingratitude." He was killed so that Allah could provide them a 'better' son. (Note: This is one reason why honor killing is sanctioned by Sharia. Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills their offspring (o.1.1-2).)

Quran (21:44) - "We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?"

Quran (25:52) - "Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness..." "Strive against" is Jihad - obviously not in the personal context. It's also significant to point out that this is a Meccan verse.

Quran (33:60-62) - "If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter." This passage sanctions the slaughter (rendered "merciless" and "horrible murder" in other translations) against three groups: Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to "fight in the way of Allah" (3:167) and hence don't act as Muslims should), those with "diseased hearts" (which include Jews and Christians 5:51-52), and "alarmists" or "agitators who include those who merely speak out against Islam, according to Muhammad's biographers. It is worth noting that the victims are to be sought out by Muslims, which is what today's terrorists do. If this passage is meant merely to apply to the city of Medina, then it is unclear why it is included in Allah's eternal word to Muslim generations.

Quran (47:3-4) - "Those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe follow the truth from their lord. Thus does Allah set forth form men their lessons by similitude. Therefore when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners," Those who reject Allah are to be subdued in battle. The verse goes on to say the only reason Allah doesn't do the dirty work himself is in order to to test the faithfulness of Muslims. Those who kill pass the test. "But if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost."

Quran (47:35) - "Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost (Shakir: "have the upper hand") for Allah is with you,"

Quran (48:17) - "There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom." Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means 'spiritual struggle.' Is so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted? This verse also says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

Quran (48:29) - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves" Islam is not about treating everyone equally. There are two very distinct standards that are applied based on religious status. Also the word used for 'hard' or 'ruthless' in this verse shares the same root as the word translated as 'painful' or severe' in verse 16.

Quran (61:4) - "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way" Religion of Peace, indeed! This is followed by (61:9): "He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist."

Quran (61:10-12) - "O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity." This verse was given in battle. It uses the Arabic word, Jihad.

Quran (66:9) - "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end." The root word of "Jihad" is used again here. The context is clearly holy war, and the scope of violence is broadened to include "hypocrites" - those who call themselves Muslims but do not act as such.

Gillian M (218)
Friday April 19, 2013, 11:35 am
Self loathing, low self-esttem - sisyphus - get help!

Gloria H (88)
Friday April 19, 2013, 1:34 pm
How do soldiers who have seen combat gain empathy with those that they have been trained to kill once war is over?
What makes one person go on with life, and another to harbor hate?
What goes on in the thinking process that causes one to heal and another to fester?
Is it how we are raised? the functional/dysfunctional family of origin teachings that kick in? what our peers and friends continue to express? Religion?

Gillian M (218)
Friday April 19, 2013, 3:18 pm
Some intermarry, some hate and some just get on with life trying to put the past behind. There is no one answer but a loving supportive family and a belief in your own G-d has helped many.


Birgit W (160)
Friday April 19, 2013, 4:04 pm

marie C (163)
Friday April 19, 2013, 5:17 pm
Fascinating article if only we knew Kit
Thanks for posting

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Friday April 19, 2013, 8:50 pm
Interesting and fascinating article, many thanks Kit B. There are many things to consider but in the end it is a tragic and horrific time for all whenever terrorism strikes. The study of this certainly can provide law enforcement with more insight into how to prevent more of these attacks from occurring.

pam w (139)
Friday April 19, 2013, 9:26 pm
Interestingly, we're now hearing that the elder perpetrator is married with a young child! I wonder if he would have felt this way?....

''Though stories of violence may dominate the news, there's good scientific evidence to suggest that humans are wired to care for others. By toddlerhood, children take it upon themselves to be helpful, for example. Even 6-month- and 10-month-olds prefer helpful characters over mean ones, studies suggest. As adults, we quite literally feel others' pain. A study published in January in the journal Molecular Psychology found that when doctors see their patients in pain, the pain-processing regions in their own brains activate. "

Interesting, too, seeing the different reactions from their family....a female relative claims it's all a ''set up" while the father initially denies any possibility of their guilt and later, after hearing facts from US news sources, seems to soften. Finally, a VERY vocal uncle says they're "losers" who are bringing ''shame'' on their former nation.

Imagine having someone in YOUR family who has done this kind of horrible deed?

This article is correct, of course, in that, as evolutionary cousins of the empathetic bonobo ape....we ARE wired for care to others. Unfortunately, we're also evolutionary cousins of the violent chimpanzee...who solves problems with violence and is constantly battling for ''alpha-hood."

The eldest man claimed to be a ''devout Muslim." Any religion which brainwashes adherents to accept the need/desire for JIHAD seems determined to remove our natural empathy and replace it with the fervent desire to punish, torture and reduce humanity to its lowest possible element.


Carol D (346)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 1:58 am
Gillian..You deserve a ton more of green stars!!! Excellent information!

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:44 am

Even today we have very little factual information. We know that one brother has died and one is in serious condition in the hospital. All other information is supposition or the weaving of conspiracy theories. I do realize that it is difficult to wait for actual facts when we live in a world of instant gratification, but on this one, we must wait for the truth to come on it's own time.

JL A (281)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 8:18 am
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Lloyd H (46)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 10:53 am
Thanks Kit, although this is one instance that might just prove that if you examine the minds of psychologists it would be the same as a light bulb, brilliant but empty. Religious fanatics, be they Islamic Taliban or Christian Taliban, are created sociopaths not sociopaths by nature. They do have empathy but it is a very selective and directed empathy only for those of their very specific/select group.
Now considering that Christianity has a 500 year lead in the "Game of Conversion by the Sword"beginningg with Emperor Constantine and still going strong right up to Charlemagne, Uganda with the 'Kill the Gays Bill", Death by Pregnancy from the Christian Taliban of America, to assassinate the Doctor in his Church.... And then one can add in the plain and simple fact that the Holy Bible of Christians, and it really does not matter which theo-politically motivated edited version, is full of as much barf bag filling gabage as the Qur'an and has been used to justify just as many crimes against humaity.
Gillian you are at times an entertaining Christian Taliban of America Troll but your Islamophobia to be honest is a stomach turning as you consider the Qur'an, which evidently you fail to realize or acknowledge is based in part on the Jewish Old Testament and some of the New Testament, you do realize that Islam does recognize Jesus as a Prophet just not God.

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 11:04 am

I do agree with that Lloyd, the religious fanatics have a long history to use as factual evidence for years of deceit and chicanery to influence the mind of followers.

About these two young men, I think we need to take a step back until we know the actual story.

I'm thinking that right now we just do not know that this was religious fanaticism.

It might be, or it might be a young man that was angry that his lack of education left him in depressed economic times and he could not support his child. Bad economic times can lead those who are less stable to do horrendous things. We are told that Tamerlan Tsarnaev said that in the nearly 11 years in the United States he had no friends. That would mean this 26 year old, lived cut off from normal socialization.

Though again, we do not know, but if we believe the uncle, the father and his friends, then we see a very different picture of young Dzhokar Tsarnaev a very young and maybe impressionable personality that might have followed his brothers lead. That is the problem with guessing before we know the facts, we are all just speculating.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 11:13 am
"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you."
"If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death"

Both quotes from the Bible - one often finds what one seeks, be it the Qur'an or the Bible~ as a very wise person once said, "If your first reaction is hate, take a breath and let in some peace"


M B (62)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 1:46 pm
Thanks Kit for the info. Many good comments, exept a few full of hate. Doesn't the "hate community" realize that they are just as bad, as the ones they are on about ?
And I do think as well that religion prevents people of their own thoughts. Thanks Arielle for your quote ":If your first reaction is hate, take a breath and let in some peace" !!

Thomas B (1)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 1:48 pm
The only difference between the Boston Marathon bombing, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, 9/11, The Oklahoma City bombing, and Columbine, was the choice of weapons.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 1:59 pm
Wise words, Monka - and I must confess that the wise person who said that quote is our own Dear Kit!
I love those words - not always easy to do, but it's a great goal!

Judith Hand (55)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 2:05 pm
Noted. I don't see the term "twisted mind" and the word "empathy" having much relationship to each other, so I don't agree with the question. But, sure, one reason that I wanted the young man to be found alive was to know what brought this about. I can't imagine how he'll live with his actions. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes now. Should he not plead the 5th and his interrogators are able to reach him...he'll be floored beyond empathy. Add the knowledge of all the hurt, his family's reactions, his brother's death, where he'll spend the rest of his days.....

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 2:41 pm

I'm so sorry that you are filled with so much rage and hate. No one needs to explain what happened, we are all painfully aware. Though what no one knows is what this is about. I am not a follower of the Qur'an, though if I were I would most certainly not feel a need to answer to your attempted taunts.

JL A (281)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 3:14 pm
Definition of DECENT
a : appropriate
b : well-formed : handsome
a : conforming to standards of propriety, good taste, or morality
b : modestly clothed
: free from immodesty or obscenity
: fairly good : adequate, satisfactory
: marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill

JL A (281)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 3:38 pm
I find Kit to be marked with moral integrity, kindness and goodwill and her comments to be free from immodesty and obscenities--which is appropriate besides consistent with the expectations Care2 set for all of us. Her content is consistently at least fairly good, adequate and satisfactory and often excellent and superb. Thank you Kit for all you do to help Care2 be the kind of place we want to visit.

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 3:41 pm

Thank you, J L. I do appreciate the kind words. I just love the way you used the words from the definition of decency, very clever, indeed.

JL A (281)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:01 pm
But none of that actually fits Kit Gillian--Kit meets every standard of decency in the quote--and I was disturbed by your unnecessary obsenity BTW..

Gillian M (218)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:03 pm
I'm afraid that my empathy is with the families of the dead and those that were injured and their families. It is not with the terrorist that kills and maims. There is something wrong with a person that does that and is most definitely NOT A DECENT PERSON as defined below

Adjective: decent (of a person) Having a suitable conformity to basic moral standards; showing integrity, fairness, or other characteristics associated with moral uprightness

pam w (139)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:06 pm
Kit says...."Even today we have very little factual information. We know that one brother has died and one is in serious condition in the hospital. All other information is supposition or the weaving of conspiracy theories. I do realize that it is difficult to wait for actual facts when we live in a world of instant gratification, but on this one, we must wait for the truth to come on it's own time. "

++++++++++++ And it may....or it may not. If the youngest boy dies, we'll NEVER really know what drove them to this. We can SURMISE....we can ASSUME....but....we all know the old cliche about what happens when we ASSUME.

JL A (281)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:14 pm
In our system, people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law--respecting that and not condemning off news reports meets the standard of fair in accordance with law- which Kit has put considerable effort in to have all of us conform to (be fair) in this thread--and deserves our kudos despite those who apparently do not prefer the moral standard of fairness.

Definition of fair (adj) · Bing Dictionary
[ fer ]
reasonable or unbiased: not exhibiting any bias, and therefore reasonable or impartial
done properly: done according to the rules
not stormy or cloudy: sunny or clear, and without much wind

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:14 pm

Though Gillian that is your label for me. I have not once said that I feel that way. Simply because you have chosen to label me in that way does not make it true. Any one that knows me, reads what I have say, would know that not one word of what you say is factual. I would not expect anything but this feigned interest of yours in the health and well being of others. It is an attempt to make yourself look good at the expense of others, hardly a new tact for you. The definition of what your are doing, now and in the past and most predictably in the future, self aggrandizement. You are trying to feed your ego through the pain and suffering of those harmed in this horrible attack in Boston.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:38 pm

Dotti L (85)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:59 pm
This is a conversation that I do not wish to join. Reason: Gillian. Thank you Kit. It has been an interesting read.

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 6:53 pm

I can not say that I blame you, Dottie.

reft h (66)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 12:19 am
thanks for the interesting article

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 12:24 am
This reminds me of another article. It's about a totally different kind of crime, but points out the same thing from the other side:

If we look beyond the crime itself and related behaviour, criminals are almost by definition "otherwise decent". However, this is a meaningless tautology. While it is important to remember that they are human, not monsters, and not psychologically really alien to any of us, the differences that exist are important. It's like saying that we share a lot of DNA with other mammals: It's true, but I stil don't feel like a cannibal after eating a burger. Being "otherwise decent" still leaves these guys having killed multiple people and injured a whole lot more.

Gillian M (218)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:33 am
Kit has made a statement about me which she has failed to substantiate. Kit has made a statement about the Koran which she has refused to substantiate thereby proving her inability to do so.

I have made a statement about Kit which I have substantiated. I would also point out that Kit's lack of understanding of pyschology is non-existant. Yes, I do understand the wishy washy article that she posted as I do have a qualification in the subject. The article was to play down the Islamist extremism of the attack and has clearly succeeded when reading the comments on this page. It appears that many are sitting here saying poor little brothers and not unacceptable murderers. There is no excuse for murder and I am sure that if it happened to anyone of you who are sitting here bleeding for them then you should consider how you would feel if it was your 8 year old son/grandson/nephew/brother etc who died. If it was your son/grandson/nephew/brother etc who lost both legs.

Kit, you claim that you have not stated that that is how you feel but yes you do very very clearly. I do understand exactly what you are saying even though you are denying it. Any intelligent person can read and see what you are saying and I have seen you say it repeatedly on different news sites. You label me because you refuse to see or hear what is being said or dislikebeing shown the truth so prefer to blame me. I repeat what you refuse to hear or give, my empathy is, and always will be, with those that are killed/murdered, raped, abused, have acid thrown on them, beaten, hung, stoned etc and, in this case, with the families of the 3 dead and the many many wounded and their families. My empathy is not, as you have shown, with the perpetrators of this appalling act. There is no reason other than being an Islamist, for this atrocity.


Gillian M (218)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:35 am
JL A, what obscenity?

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 7:56 am

This article addresses the mind and motivations of those who commit acts of terror. It makes no apologies for them, it gives no blank check for murder. Further, it addresses the better part of human nature, to run toward those are hurt and need help. There are not excuses for the cowardly act of murder or attempted terror. Neither myself nor any one here has said a single word that condones what happened in Boston, not one word.

What we are seeing by the press who must fill a 24/7 news cycle, is to pretend they have all the answers. We do not and will not know the reasons for this, at this time. We may know more in time after the police agencies have had time to conduct a investigation and one hopes gained some information from the young man in the hospital to know more details before attributing this to a group, a religious or cultural motivation.

I sincerely believe without hesitation that everyone that has left a comment here; is feeling both the pain of the loss of those murdered and for their families, the city of Boston and the United States.

Other than yourself Gillian, no one else has portrayed themselves as being better than the rest or feeling more than others. Generally, we all feel the pain and sorrow of these acts of violence and we have no idea why this was done. The two articles I have posted about this remind us that we only have the smallest amount of superficial information, that we should all be prepared to wait and learn the facts before passing judgement. Call them cowards, they are and as their Uncle said, they are also losers.

Gillian, you do not own the pain and grief suffered by the victims, the families, Boston or the United States. We do, and we in this country believe in our system of justice that each accused person, is innocent until proven guilty. We also want to know the outcome of the investigation before we make broad and sweeping accusations.

You want to smash them with your hate of Islam because we know them to born to as Muslim. You were doing that even before we knew who was involved or their personal back ground. Your Islamophobia runs deep and knows no limits. What you have posted here is hate and accusations toward me. It is totally irrelevant mental meanderings, you have offered nothing of value, contributed nothing to the discussion,with the singular exception of more of your efforts at self aggrandizing. Your say you feel pain for the victims, the words you use have betrayed your true intentions, one more effort to harass me.

I am not intimated by you or your silly words. Sadly, I feel only pity toward you.

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 8:02 am

Neither Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh nor a host of others that have perpetrated crimes of terror using a bomb or bombs, in the United States were of or influenced by the religion of Islam.

Aaron Bouchard (158)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 8:17 am
Noted thanks

JL A (281)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 8:34 am
Comment 2:51 pm, second sentence has gratuitous obscenity.

One of my early English teachers told us that if we found ourselves writing an obscenity we should view that as an indicator of sloppy or lazy thinking calling for us to review all our premises and other content in what we wrote/were writing expecting it to require substantial revising.

Excellent reminders--I would add the Unibomber to your list of bombing terrorists without religion influencing their acts...and the number of deaths from such in the US still outnumbers the total attributable to religious influence (which includes bombings of abortion clinics).

JL A (281)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 8:59 am
Data on bombs in the US:

Explosives Incidents in the United States

The following statistics are based upon explosives incidents reported to the USBDC, including bombings, attempted bombings, incendiary bombings, stolen explosives and other categories.
Year No. of Explosives Incidents No. of Injuries No. of Fatalities
2012* 4,033 37 1
2011 5,219 36 5
2010 4,897 99 22
2009 3,886 57 4
2008 4,198 97 15
2007 3,143 60 15
2006 3,797 135 14
2005 4,031 148 19
2004 3,919 263 36

*The number of incidents reported for 2012 were derived from BATS on February 6, 2013, and represent incidents that occurred between January 1 and October 31, 2012.


Connie O (44)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 9:09 am
noted, although the comments on this board are disturbing.

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 9:43 am

Yes, Connie they are but the article is not.

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 11:55 am

There is no need to translate or rewrite your words they speak loudly on their own.

Hate is an ugly thing, we each must do what we can to avoid falling into that trap.

I am an American first, and we do follow the rule of our laws.

My own feelings about this tragedy are given here and on other sites, I have nothing to prove to you.

JL A (281)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 12:02 pm
Definition of obscene (adj) · Bing Dictionary
[ ob sn ]

indecent: offensive to conventional standards of decency, especially by being sexually explicit
disgusting: disgusting and morally offensive, especially through an apparent total disregard for others' rights or natural justice

Definition of vulgar (adj) · Bing Dictionary
[ vúlgər ]

crude or indecent: crude or obscene, particularly with regard to sex or bodily functions
tasteless or ostentatious: showing a lack of taste or reasonable moderation
lacking refinement: lacking in courtesy and manners

Synonyms: rude, offensive, crude, bad, earthy, blue, improper
Definitions affirm obscenity label, and are usual and customary guide for appropriate English usage.


Jo S (619)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:10 pm
Kit, once again I thank you for a very thought provoking article.
Noted, signed, tweeted, pined & shared.

Gillian M (218)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:20 pm
Just for info about these innocent terrorists

The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers.

Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack.

More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.

A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”

A specialist team of CIA and FBI interrogators was yesterday flown to a Boston hospital to grill wounded Dzhokhar, 19, about the secret group. The University of Massachusetts student was caught on Friday after hiding out in a boat parked in a garden in locked down Watertown the day after a gun battle with police left his 26-year-old brother and a rookie cop dead.

Dzhokhar is said to have run his brother over as he escaped in a stolen car while Tamerlan lay handcuffed on the ground. They were carrying six bombs with them at the time, three of which ­exploded, as well as a handgun and rifle. The devices were thought to be pipe bombs.

Last night Dzhokhar – badly wounded but alive – lay handcuffed to his hospital bed under armed guard. The other three arrested in the port of New Bedford are also believed to be of college age.

Dzhokhar even went to a college party two days after the bombs wreaked havoc at the finish line. According to fellow students, he “looked relaxed” as he joined in a party at the campus on Wednesday night.

Hours later he was involved in the shootout which saw his brother killed.

Investigators have begun piecing together how the “well-mannered” brothers of Chechen origin were radicalised. Neighbours of the family said older brother Tamerlan had recently become obsessed with Islam. He mysteriously left the US in January last year to spend six months in Russia. Yesterday senior FBI counter-terrorism official Kevin Brock said: “It’s a key thread for investigators.”

It also emerged the Bureau interviewed Tamerlan two years ago, at the request of the Russian government, but could not establish that he had ties to terrorist radicals.

This was despite his worrying Russian-language YouTube page featuring links to extremist Islamic sites and others since taken down by YouTube.

One link showed an hour-long speech by an Islamic teacher called Shaykh Feiz Mohammed, while other videos are labled “Terrorists” and “Islam”.

The radical cleric, with links to extremist British Muslims, encouraged his followers to become martyrs for Islam. He said: “Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.”

Yesterday the brothers’ mother Zubeidat, speaking from her home in Russia, added further intrigue to her sons’ murky past when she claimed the boys had been framed by the FBI over the two bombs last Monday that left three dead and 178 injured.

She claimed the FBI had been keeping watch on her eldest boy for up to five years. She said: “They knew what my son was doing. They knew what sites on the internet he was going to.

“They were telling me that he was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites. They were controlling him.”

The bombers’ father Anzor wept at news that his youngest son had been captured alive. In a phone interview with a US news channel he told his son: “Tell police everything. Everything. Just be honest.”

US Government officials have said the brothers were not under surveillance as possible militants. And an FBI statement said the matter was closed because interviews with Tamerlan and family members “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign”. But now they believe the pair, who emigrated to the United States from Dagestan about a decade ago, were part of a terror cell.

College dropout Tamerlan’s American wife Katherine Russell, 24, and their three-year-old daughter Zahara were yesterday thrown into the spotlight. She was a Christian before they married but converted to Islam. Her parents Warren, a doctor, and Judith were said to be “stunned” by their son-in-law’s involvement in the tragedy.

Judith and Warren issued a joint statement saying: “Our daughter has lost her husband today, the father of her child. In the aftermath of the Patriot’s Day horror, we know we never really knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Our hearts are sickened by the horror he has inflicted.”

Katherine, wearing a black hijab, was picked up by FBI agents at their home in Cambridge near Boston on Friday. Dope-smoker Dzhokhar was captured after a Watertown resident called police to say the fugitive was hiding in a boat in his back garden.

David Henneberry had gone into his garden for a cigarette after police lifted restrictions on people leaving their homes, believing the bomber had left the area. He noticed that the cover over his boat had blood on it and a strap had been cut. He went back into the house to get a stepladder and looked inside.

His stepson Robert said: “He stuck his head under the tarp and noticed a pool of blood and something crumpled up in a ball. Instead of being a hero of the moment and yelling at what we now know was the suspect, he did the right thing and called 911.”

Police immediately evacuated the family and surrounded the house, using a megaphone to tell Dzhokhar to come out with his hands up.

When he failed to respond they opened fire at the boat’s hull. Robert said: “They wound up ­shooting a couple of rounds through the boat. He wasn’t going to like that.”

Dzhokhar was wounded by the volley of gunfire and police were able to move in and arrest him. They later released infrared pictures taken from a helicopter showing Dzhokhar hiding in the boat.

Investigators will interrogate the bomber, still seriously ill last night, without reading him his rights – using special “public safety” powers.

The family of eight-year-old bombing victim Martin Richard welcomed the arrest of Tsarnaev. “Our community is once again safe from these men,” the family said in a statement.

Shortly before Dzhokhar’s capture, President Obama spoke by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House said Obama “praised the close co-operation the US has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack”.

There were scenes of celebration across Boston as news spread of the capture of the remaining bomber.

Gillian M (218)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:24 pm
These poor little innocent terrorists who couldn't possibly have committed any crime or even be considering it aand they are so hard done by and Kit really wants to excuse or whitewash them because they are Muslims.........

The Boston bomb suspects were planning other attacks, police said tonight.

An arsenal of homemade explosives were discovered after Friday night's gun battle, Boston police commissioner Ed Davies said.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured after being found hiding in a boat and his brother - and fellow suspect - Tamerlan was shot dead by police.

Mr Davies told the CBS Face The Nation programme: "We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene - the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded and the firepower that they had - that they were going to attack other individuals.

"That's my belief at this point."

The scene of the gun battle was loaded with unexploded bombs, and authorities had to alert arriving officers to them and clear the scene, Mr Davis said.

One improvised explosive device was found in the Mercedes the brothers are accused of carjacking, he said.

He added: "This was as dangerous as it gets in urban policing."

JL A (281)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:24 pm
Incident, act, event, or circumstance. A fact is something that has already been done or an action in process. It is an event that has definitely and actually taken place, and is distinguishable from a suspicion, innuendo, or supposition. A fact is a truth as opposed to fiction or mistake.

A Question of Fact in litigation is concerned with what actually took place. During a trial, questions of fact are generally left for the jury to determine after each opposing side has presented its case. By contrast, a Question of Law is ordinarily decided by a judge, who must deal with applicable legal rules and principles that affect what transpired.
West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2
This article is about empathy and other psychological factors relevant to those who commit horrible acts. Here is some of what Wikipedia has to say about the topic of this article:

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This article is about the emotional capacity. For other uses, see Empathy (disambiguation).

Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being. One may need to have a certain amount of empathy before being able to experience accurate sympathy or compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by the psychologist Edward B. Titchener in an attempt to translate the German word "Einfühlungsvermögen", a new phenomenon explored at the end of 19th century mainly by philosopher Theodor Lipps. It was later re-translated into the German language as "Empathie", and is still in use there.[1]


The English word is derived from the Greek word ἐμπάθεια (empatheia), "physical affection, passion, partiality" which comes from ἐν (en), "in, at" + πάθος (pathos), "passion" or "suffering".[2] The term was adapted by Hermann Lotze and Robert Vischer to create the German word Einfühlung ("feeling into"), which was translated by Edward B. Titchener into the English term empathy.[3]

Alexithymia from the Ancient Greek words λέξις (lexis) and θυμός (thumos) modified by an alpha-privative—literally "without words for emotions"—is a term to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions in oneself.[4][5]

Note that in modern Greek the word empathy (εμπάθεια) translates as "hatred" or "spitefulness" (a situation of causing passion, rather than mutual relation to one's passion); ενσυναίσθηση is the correct modern equivalent of empathy.

Empathy has many different definitions. These definitions encompass a broad range, from caring for other people and having a desire to help them, to experiencing emotions that match another person's emotions, to knowing what the other person is thinking or feeling, to blurring the line between self and other.[6]

Since empathy involves understanding the emotional states of other people, the way it is characterized is derivative of the way emotions themselves are characterized. If, for example, emotions are taken to be centrally characterized by bodily feelings, then grasping the bodily feelings of another will be central to empathy. On the other hand, if emotions are more centrally characterized by a combination of beliefs and desires, then grasping these beliefs and desires will be more essential to empathy. The ability to imagine oneself as another person is a sophisticated imaginative process. However, the basic capacity to recognize emotions is probably innate[7] and may be achieved unconsciously. Yet it can be trained[8] and achieved with various degrees of intensity or accuracy.

Empathy necessarily has a "more or less" quality. The paradigm case of an empathic interaction, however, involves a person communicating an accurate recognition of the significance of another person's ongoing intentional actions, associated emotional states, and personal characteristics in a manner that the recognized person can tolerate. Recognitions that are both accurate and tolerable are central features of empathy.[9][10]

The human capacity to recognize the bodily feelings of another is related to one's imitative capacities and seems to be grounded in an innate capacity to associate the bodily movements and facial expressions one sees in another with the proprioceptive feelings of producing those corresponding movements or expressions oneself.[11] Humans seem to make the same immediate connection between the tone of voice and other vocal expressions and inner feeling.

Empathy is distinct from sympathy, pity, and emotional contagion.[12] Sympathy or empathic concern is the feeling of compassion or concern for another, the wish to see them better off or happier. Pity is feeling that another is in trouble and in need of help as they cannot fix their problems themselves, often described as "feeling sorry" for someone. Emotional contagion is when a person (especially an infant or a member of a mob) imitatively "catches" the emotions that others are showing without necessarily recognizing this is happening.[13]
Emotional and cognitive empathy

Empathy can be divided into two major components:

Emotional empathy, also called affective empathy: the drive to respond with an appropriate emotion to another's mental states.[14] Our ability to empathize emotionally is supposed to be based on emotional contagion:[15] being affected by another's emotional or arousal state.[16]
Cognitive empathy: the drive to identify another's mental states.[14][17] The term cognitive empathy and theory of mind are often used synonymously.[18]

Although science has not yet agreed upon a precise definition of these constructs, there is consensus about this distinction.[19] There is a difference in disturbance of affective versus cognitive empathy in different psychiatric disorders. Psychopathy, schizophrenia, depersonalization and narcissism are characterized by impairments in emotional empathy but not in cognitive empathy, whereas autism, bipolar disorder and borderline traits are associated with deficits in cognitive empathy but not in emotional empathy.[19] Also in people without mental disorders, the balance between emotional and cognitive empathy varies.[19] A meta-analysis of recent fMRI studies of empathy confirmed that different brain areas are activated during affective–perceptual empathy and cognitive–evaluative empathy.[20] Also a study with patients with different types of brain damage confirmed the distinction between emotional and cognitive empathy.[15] Specifically, the inferior frontal gyrus appears to be responsible for emotional empathy, and the ventromedial prefrontal gyrus seems to mediate cognitive empathy.[15]

Emotional empathy can be subdivided into:

Personal distress: the inclination to experience self-centered feelings of discomfort and anxiety in response to another's suffering.[21][22]
Empathic concern: the inclination to experience sympathy and compassion towards others in response to their suffering.[21][22]

There is no consensus regarding the question if personal distress is a basic form of empathy or if it falls outside of empathy.[21] There is a developmental aspect to this subdivision. Infants respond to the distress of others by getting distressed themselves; only when they are 2 years old they start to respond in other-oriented ways, trying to help, comfort and share.[21]

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:38 pm

Though your stability is now in question, I wonder just who want what was said that implied these men were innocent? No one here not this site. No one. I know that it gives you great pleasure to taunt, but it's rather boring and as for facts, I will go with an American paper first. Preferably, from Boston. No juicy gossip, no innuendo, just a few FACTS about this case. That could be because outside of the mind of Gillian there are no public facts. When the FBI is ready to make a public statement, I will be only to happy to listen.

In the meantime, I urge all American's to send their messages of condolence to the families, currently through the Boston Globe, I have and hope other Americans will join me.

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:05 pm
Bah, I say all religions are the cancers of the human race. Until we drop all our superstitions, the killings will go on.
Now the muslims are the killers, but christians certainly had their hey days! Look what we did to the indians!
This is a new erea, losers gain glory by murdering masses all in the name of our imaginary god,

Jennifer Ward (40)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:08 pm
Who cares what motivated these murderous criminals? I'm sick of hearing about morons massacring innocent people because they feel like it. I'm only sorry the younger monster has survived. Whatever story he comes up with will be self-serving BS.

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:15 pm

That is probably true, Phyllis. Though we still need the FBI to follow up, prepare a case and then have a prosecutor present it to a jury to find him guilty in a court of law.

True enough Marie, if it's not one religion causing problems it another. The current scape goat is Islam. There is always an excuse for lousy behavior might as well blame Islam, we can't have individuals actually stepping up and saying "I did that". That does ruin all the conspiracy theories.

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 6:17 pm

Wow! Gillian can copy and paste. How very unimpressive. You can chatter on about the United States, it means nothing, your opinions about the U S are irrelevant. No one cares what you think and you are an outsider.

greenplanet e (155)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 10:22 pm
On that day, 11 people died from gun violence in the US.

There are quite a few people who lack empathy in this world - some of them are every day people walking around who will not kill anyone, although they may hurt people on a regular basis, in one way or another.

Connie O (44)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 8:13 am
People have to learn to hate....they are not born that way.

Gillian M (218)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 7:45 pm
So, the copy/pasting with the truth is annoying? Shame really. If that is the best that you can come up with.....

As for the US, just because you have no idea of what is happening in your own country is not my problem. My opinions about the US are more relevant because of it. And as for being an outsider, no, I'm not but I am extremely grateful not to live there.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 26, 2013, 4:11 pm
I hope the passion expressed in these comments can be applied to some very needy causes...right here on Care2!! Great article thx Kit!
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