Alas, what the herd of independent minds got were Caucasians of a different sort, boys from a Muslim family born in or around Chechnya, whose personal web pages underscore what was there for all to see: “Outlook: Islam.” As I write, some Muslim groups are conducting an ad campaign to sanitize the word “jihad.” Forget about the chaps who blow up night clubs, who steer jet liners in skyscrapers, who see an infidel or a Jew and want to kill him. That’s not jihad. Really (they want us to believe) jihad is all about “self-realization,” striving to do one’s best, etc.

Except when it isn’t. Except when it means dropping a few IEDs on the streets of Boston and blowing 8-year-old boys to bits. “Jihad,” as Andrew McCarthy put it, “will not be wished away.”

Which doesn’t mean people aren’t busy wishing. “Willful blindness,” he writes, “remains the order of the day, as it has since the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993.”

It’s the willful part, the obstinate determination not to see that makes the left-wing consensus on this issue so disgusting — that, and the unbearable aroma of self-righteousness.

We read in USA Today that the mosque frequented by the Tsarnaev brothers has ties to convicted terrorists, fugitives, and radical speakers. Surprised? Me neither. But that doesn’t prevent Marc Ambinder in The Week from railing against “the sin of essentialism” and warning that the conversation about Islam in America is “illogical and laced with bigotry.” For Ambinder, the real question is: “What is it about America that so alienates young men?”

So it’s our fault, is it, that these two Islamic terrorists murdered and maimed all those people in Boston? The CIA wanted the elder Tsarnaev on the terror watch list. The FBI had questioned him but found nothing suspicious. They should have looked a little harder.

Or so I think. Megan Garber, writing at The Atlantic, can’t understand that. “The Boston Bombers Were Muslim,” she writes, “So?” So, Megan, there is a connection between Islam and violence. Not all Muslims are bent on the destruction of Jews and infidels. True enough. But if you find someone who is bent on that destruction, it is rational to suppose, absent contravening evidence, that he is likely to be Muslim. Megan Garber laments the fact that “we turn to labels in times of crisis.” I lament the fact that Ms. Garber turns to the label of accusing people of turning to “labels” (an empty leftoid epithet of  approximately the same cognitive value as “sustainable”) when what they are really doing is exercising rational caution and engaging in a perfectly justified calculation of probabilities.

I find the behavior of folks like Sirota, Ambinder, and Garber disgusting because I believe it excuses evil for that sake of a politically correct narrative. Tell Martin Richard about “the sin of essential.” Counsel his one-legged sister about why we shouldn’t attach “labels” to people. Tell her mother about the evils of “white male privilege.”