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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tamerlan Tsarnaev Should Be Cremated

After someone dies, there are generally three options of what to do with a body: bury it under ground, entomb it in a mausoleum, or cremate it. Much less frequent options also exist such as cryogenic freezing, freeze drying, mummification, resomation (chemically dissolving the tissues but leaving the bones behind to be pulverized), and plastination (preserving the body in semi-recognizable form for education and display).

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Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is reportedly being refused a traditional burial, particularly in Cambridge Massachusetts, because it would be considered disrespectful to the victims of the bombing who are buried there. One funeral director has gone on record saying that there is probably no cemetery in the U.S. who would be willing to bury him due to fear of reprisals and lost business. After all, would you want to be buried in the same cemetery as a person who committed an act of terrorism against the U.S.?  Nope.

I believe there is a very simple solution to this problem: he should be cremated with his ashes given to his family or disposed of somewhere if they do not want them. The opposition to cremation in this case presented in the media according to Muslim scholars does not make any sense to me. Specifically, the argument is that he should not be cremated because he was Muslim and that cremation is against the Muslim religion because it desecrates the body. 

Hold on a second. This is a guy who literally had a bomb strapped to his chest when he was killed, meaning he was ready to BLOW HIMSELF UP if need be. Similarly, the 9-11 bombers also followed radical Islam and incinerated themselves in airplane attacks. These are each examples of a much worse form of bodily desecration than a controlled cremation. Thus, the logic in dealing with these cases is very simple: if you are willing to desecrate your body in a terrorist attack against the U.S., then expect to be cremated if you die trying but your body still remains behind and no cemetery wants you.  There should be a federal law that allows for this (whether you are a U.S. citizen or not) especially if you incinerated and blew up others. 

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