Skip to comments.Tamerlan Tsarnaev: Was He Named After the Brutal Islamic Ruler Tamerlane?
Posted on 04/28/2013 7:26:02 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The latest news on the Boston Marathon bombing is that two suspects have been identified: brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. Tamerlan has since died after a confrontation with police in Watertown, Mass., while Dzhokhar is still on the run.
Details are sketchy, but the general picture seems to be that the Tsarnaev family is from Chechnya, a republic in southern Russia (i.e., the Russian Caucasus). Since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya has had a bloody history involving attempts to gain independence from Russia, with subsequent Russian crackdowns and attacks by Chechen terrorists. The conflict has a religious edge to it, as Chechens are Muslim, making them a religious minority in Russia.
Assuming the Tsarnaev brothers are the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing, was their act of terror motivated by Islam, as with the September 11 attacks? Were they, like al-Qaeda, aiming to revive an Islamic Caliphate to rule the world? You can almost hear the argument already: "One of them was named after a Muslim ruler: Tamerlane. The Tsarnaevs are terrorists, and Muslims, so they're seeking to establish Islam across the globe." (A caller in the second hour of the Rush Limbaugh show Friday noted the Tamerlane connection.)
But we should be careful about attributing motives for the bombing. At the same time, we should never let a crisis go to waste, if only because they're good opportunities to learn history. So, first, who was Tamerlane?
The name "Tamerlane" is based on a derisive epithet used by Persians, which translates to "Timur the Lame." Despite being hobbled by injuries sustained early in his life, Timur (1336-1405) rose quickly from what is now Uzbekistan to rule a huge empire stretching from Baghdad in the west to Delhi in the east. Timur fancied himself as being both an inheritor of the throne of the Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan (c. 1162-1227) and a good candidate for Islamic Caliph. But Timur never had the credentials to officially hold either title, so he contented himself with being de facto ruler.
Timur is remembered as a brilliant military thinker who was ruthlessly brutal to his opponents. His conquests of Baghdad and Delhi were particularly bloody. He was also a patron of the arts (funny how often the two go together), and turned his capital city of Samarkand into a place of architectural innovation. European leaders were gleeful at Timur's successes against the Ottoman Empire, even as they feared that he would turn his armies on them, too. They needn't have worried, because Timur died as he was gathering together a campaign to invade China, which was in the early stages of the Ming Dynasty. His empire gradually fell apart after his death.
Many Hindus and Christians have a dim view of Timur, given his atrocities, but the same can be said about many Muslims. Timur's victims were often Muslims living in what is now Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and elsewhere. But the name "Tamerlane" (or variation of it) is nonetheless popular, particularly in Russia, Uzbekistan, and other parts of Central Asia. (Perhaps it became a favorite among people who didn't like the Ottoman Turks.)
Tamerlan Tsarnaev may share a name with Timur, but that could be all they share. Timur certainly wanted to craft a large empire with Islam as its religion. But Chechen rebels and terrorists, though they are frequently Muslims, typically don't have the same designs. They're separatists who want the Russian government out of Chechnya, not creators of a new Islamic world order.
That being said, it's still not clear what the motive of the Tsarnaev brothers was. Maybe they were Al-Qaeda-style jihadis. After all, it's not clear how bombing Boston helps the Chechen separatist movement (though it's not clear how the 2002 Moscow theater or 2004 Beslan school hostage incidents helped, either). And, certainly, some Chechen rebels likely are in agreement with Al-Qaeda, or at the very least work with them.
But there's also the possibility that the Tsarnaev brothers are terrorists with a simple separatist agenda. Or maybe they're just antisocial sociopaths looking for a reason to kill, using Russian bullying as a justification the same way Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold used school bullying as a reason to shoot up Columbine High School.
That would still make them terrorists and terrible people. But it wouldn't make them part of a larger plot to impose a religion on anyone. They would be terrorists who are Muslims, not Islamic terrorists.
The cover art for my recent book "Sharia Versus Freedom -- The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism," reproduces a miniature painting from a sixteenth century manuscript of the Zafarnama by Sharaf al-Din Ali-Yazdi. The image was housed in the British Library and originally published/produced in Shiraz, Iran, 1552. It depicts soldiers filing before the Islamized Mongol conqueror Amir Timur-i-lang, or "Tamerlane," holding heads of their decapitated enemies which they used to build a tower shaped like the minaret of a mosque, in Baghdad (1401).
The upper inscription embedded within the painting reads,
How fate and destiny have cast awe in the minds of the "Tavaajis"! [king's messengers, and herein, more generally, "traitors"]
In an orderly and numerical fashion,
They made minarets with the heads of the wretched "Tavaajis"
As a lesson to the inhabitants of the world.
While the lower embedded inscription states,
So that no subordinate would dare to challenge superiors and no fox acts like a lion, and threatens the kings; Under the temptation of the demon pride
Three modern summary historical accounts of Tamerlane's 1401 ravages in Baghdad by E.G. Browne, Rene Grousset, and Jean Aubin, are quite uniform with regard to the salient details. Browne's summary, first published in 1920, maintains
Timur next turned his attention to Baghdad, the capital of the recalcitrant Sultan Ahmad Jalair [Ahmed Jelair], and, having taken it, made on June 20, 1401, a great massacre, in revenge for the many notable officers of his army who had perished in the siege. Each soldier was ordered to bring a head [Browne includes a note here, that states "According to Ibn Arabshah the number of Timur's soldiers on this occasion was 20,000, and each was ordered to bring two heads."], and in the words of Sharafuddin Ali Yazdi, "the market of retribution became so brisk that the broker of death sold at one price the old man of eighty and the child of eight, while the oven of wrath was so enkindled that it consumed in like manner the corporeal vestiture of the wealthy plutocrat and the wretched pauper." Having left Baghdad a smoking charnel house, Timur again turned his attention to the unfortunate Georgians....
Grousset's assessment, originally published in 1939, described the ravages of Timur's army once Baghdad had fallen, thusly:
The defenders had fought with the energy of despair, and Tamerlane's vengeance was merciless. Whereas seven years before he had treated Baghdad with some moderation, he now ordered a general massacre. Each soldier had to bring the head of an inhabitant, says Sharif ad-Din [Ali Yazdi]; two heads says Ibn Arabshah. Amid all the carnage, the literary-minded Tamerlane spared certain men of letters and even offered them coats of honor. Apart from these men, the entire population was slaughtered, and all buildings except mosques demolished. Ibn Arabshah estimates the number of victims at 90,000. July heat under the sky of Iraq soon bred epidemics from the heaped corpses and forced the victor to withdraw.
Put him in jail and find out to whom he was connected and stop the bombings.
Tamerlane envisioned the restoration of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan. As a means of legitimating his conquests, Timur relied on Islamic symbols and language, referring to himself as the Sword of Islam and patronizing educational and religious institutions. He converted nearly all the Borjigin leaders to Islam during his lifetime.
His armies were inclusively multi-ethnic. During his lifetime Timur emerged as the most powerful ruler in the Muslim world after defeating the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria, the emerging Ottoman Empire and the declining Sultanate of Delhi. Timur had also decisively defeated the Christian Knights Hospitaller at Smyrna, styling himself a Ghazi.
By the end of his reign Timur had also gained complete control over all the remnants of the Chagatai Khanate, Ilkhanate, Golden Horde and even attempted to restore the Yuan dynasty.
Timur’s armies were feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe, sizable parts of which were laid to ruin by his campaigns. Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population.
On the other hand, Timur is also recognized as a great patron of art and architecture, as he interacted with Muslim intellectuals such as Ibn Khaldun and Hafiz-i Abru.
This theory was posted o radio in Boston the same day the pics were put out.
AS Hilly would say...”What difference does it make?” The Mother is not the only corrupt nut job in the gang!
Duh, yes he was named after Tamerlane. And his brother was named after Batman’s evil nemesis.
The sword of islam, might have as well named him Adolph.
They are terrorists from the cradle.
No, Hillary and I are not saying anything from the same point, so, please don’t go there.
InABunkerUnderSF posted this on a previous thread and I believe it to be true.
You could not be more correct. Zubeidat named her sons Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.
Tamerlan is named for Tamerlane or Timur The Lame. He was a 14th/15th century Islamic conqueror who practiced Jihad from Anatolia to Kashgar. He killed 100,000 Hindu captives when he took Deli and killed all but 60,000 Christian Armenians - whom he enslaved. In all, it’s estimated that Tamerlane killed about 17 million people. This is who she named her first born son after.
Dzhokhar is named for Dzhokhar Dudayev, first (and hopefully last) president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Dudayev was a former Soviet Air Force (strategic bomber) general. He was given the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Red Banner for dropping lots of bombs on Afghans and he refused to shut down the Estonian parliament and TV during the KGB coup in 1991, so he’s wasn’t always pure evil.
Dudayev declared full independence from Russia in 1993, the year Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born. This triggered a bloody civil war that has gone on for 20 years now. He was “martyred” by a Russian laser guided missile while chatting on a satellite phone in 1996.
It’s pretty easy to see what the proud Tsarnaev family hoped their sons would become.
33 posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 4:14:46 PM by InABunkerUnderSF (Because 2 terms with Jerry Brown as Governor was all I could take.)
Is there a question? It seemed a given that he was. (Or named after some relative named after some relative who was, etc.)
This item was posted last week as a question to the immigration authorities as to why they would let him in.
Now it’s full bore into let’s find out all about these chaps and they’ll be on their way to having an Ozzy Osbourne sit com in 6 months time.
It is Nothing to do with Hillary’s saying what difference does it make that the ambassador’s dead, which comes from the point of we’re above the law and we are going to go on pretending to care and you are not going to get in our way,
Oh, never mind, if you don’t get the premise don’t but don’t join me up
Of course he was.
Michael Medved said last week that the Boston terrorist was indeed named after Tamerlane, and that Tamerlane was responsible for the mass murder of at least 17 million people, which was one-fifth of the world’s population at the time.
Tamerlane was also a Mongol ruler in the same area.
Seek, I found this on the Telegraph web site. Please post it if you will, thanks!
Was He Named After the Brutal Islamic Ruler Tamerlane?
I was deployed to Uzbekistan 2003-04. “Timur” meaning iron is the most popular mens’ name. Local Uzbeks referred to “Timur the Lame” as one of their national heroes, he’s on their currency. Uzbek women told me their heroes were either poets or conquerors, and that Alexander the Great took an Uzbek wife after giving Uzbeks their national dish “plov” (rice, meat, & veggies, not bad).
So a Chechen jihadi is named Tamerlan.....paging Captain Obvious!!!!!
Was the author of the article named after the satanist Alistair Crowley?