(Truthdig) -- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, has been convicted on all counts in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan were from a mixed Chechen and Avar family. Dzhokhar was born in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian republic that had been part of the Communist Soviet Union. Being from a Soviet background, the Tsarnaevs were probably originally more or less atheists, whatever they said later. Even Soviet Muslims from the Caucasus and Central Asia who identified as “Muslims” mostly did so before the 1990s as a matter of ethnicity, not piety. Most Soviet Muslim men drank copious amounts of vodka. Few knew how to pray in the Muslim manner with prostrations. Being deracinated appears to have left the Tsarnaev boys open to the blandishments of radical Muslim cults on the internet. But there was even so not much recognizably Muslim in their style of life.
It is worthwhile reprising on this day my 2013 posting on the ways that the Tsarnaevs broke Muslim law, which I’ve very slightly revised:
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