Consider this post a footnote to my earlier post: “None Dare Call It Islamic Terrorism.”
In that post I offered further reflections on the question of responsibility for terrorism. Just as there are two emotional sanction, shame and guilt, so too are there two types of responsibility, group and individual.
When member of your religion commit heinous acts in its name, its reputation is tarnished. Then leaders of the religious community should apologize, not because they necessarily caused the crime, but because the only way to restore their religion’s good name is to accept responsibility.
On the family level, Ruslan Tsarni was right to apologize for the actions of his nephews, the Tsarnaev brothers at the Boston Marathon.
Uncle Ruslan had long since renounced his brother’s family, yet being a member of the family, he bore the shame of their action.
After Michael Adebolajo hacked Lee Rigby to death on a London street, Muslim leaders stepped forth to denounce the action. They insisted that it had nothing to do with their religion. At the least, the point is debatable. What is not debatable is that Adebolajo’s
action has damaged the reputation of Islam. An apology was called for. None was forthcoming.
Except, from the terrorist’s parents.
Adebolajo’s parents are Christians. They were alarmed by their son’s conversion to Islam. They tried to help him. As opposed to the Tsarnaev parents, the Adebolajo parents bear no fault for their son’s actions.
Yet, they do bear the shame that has attached to their family name.
Thus, they issued this statement yesterday, through their solicitors:
Nothing we can say can undo the events of last week.
However, as a family, we wish to share with others our horror at the senseless killing of Lee Rigby, and express our profound shame and distress that this has brought to our family.
We send our heartfelt condolence to Lee Rigby’s family and loved ones.
We wish to state openly that we believe that there is no place for violence in the name of religion or politics. We believe that all right-thinking members of society share this view wherever they were born and whatever their religion and political beliefs.