Culture

Are We Really Arguing Over Where to Bury Tsarnaev’s Body?

Culture

Are We Really Arguing Over Where to Bury Tsarnaev’s Body?

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A funeral director in Worcester, MA tasked with arranging for the burial of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, says that no cemeteries will accept the remains.  I’d be among the first to line up to piss on the grave, but it’s starting to look like it’s going to be a while before we know where to aim the stream. That impulse of mine is part of the problem, it seems.

As the Boston Globe reports, Ruslan Tsarni, Tsarnaev’s uncle, said he believes the city of Cambridge should accept the body:

“He lived in America. He grew up here and for the last 10 years he decided to be in Cambridge, therefore any contemplation that the body should be taken to a home country. . . . his home country is Cambridge, Mass.,” Tsarni said. “Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried.’’

While there are certainly arguments to be made against hosting the eternal remains of one of the more reviled figures in recent memory, among them having your own loved ones bone-parked next door to a vile terrorist, as the Cambridge City Manager pointed out over the weekend, the protests over the predicament seem a tad irrational. Protesters have  gathered at the funeral home in Worcester today where the body is being held to, well, no one really can say what insane people are up to, but here they are anyway.

“In this country, we bury people. We don’t leave them hanging around,” Peter Stefan of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester has said. True, but we’re not burying a person here, we’re also burying an idea.

Many of our country’s more notorious criminals have been cremated, like Timothy McVeigh and Jeffrey Dahmer, but that’s not an option under Islam, which, like any other system of magical-based belief has a whole series of rules about what you can and cannot do with expired meat. That’s all this controversy is over, after all: which patch of dirt to toss a sack of bones into. The rest is all symbolism and superstition. So what does it actually matter where the body lands? As long as it’s not on a haunted, ancient burial ground under Craig T. Nelson’s house, it’s not going to make any difference.