An idealistic young American couple was killed in an Islamic terrorist area; ISIS claimed they killed them in Tajikstan. Jay Austin & Lauren Geoghegan were on a cycling trip around the world in their attempt to prove humans are kind. They shared their open heartedness wanting to embody acts of kindness with strangers.
8-15-18, Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, both 29, last year quit their office jobs in Washington, DC, to embark on a world journey. Austin, a vegan who worked for the US Dept of Housing and Urban Dev, and Geoghegan, a vegetarian who worked in the Georgetown University admissions office, decided that they're were wasting their lives working.
Austin said, “You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place. People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own... By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”
However, Austin and Lauren's dream trip came to a tragic and gruesome end when they got to Tajikistan, a weak state with a known Islamic terrorist threat that shares a border with Afghanistan, where ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups are highly hate filled and volatile. They were riding their bikes through the country on July 29, 2018 when a car rammed them. Five men got out of the car and stabbed the couple to death along with two other cyclists, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands.
Two days later, ISIS released a video showing the same men sitting in front of the group's black flag. They looked at the camera and vowed to kill "disbelievers."
Some conservatives have framed the tragedy as a cautionary tale about not just the perils of travel, but also naivete in general. In their telling, an overly generous understanding of human nature is behind much of today's progressive movement, including calls to radically scale back immigration enforcement and policing and support for socialism. More here NY Times
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