“Evil is a make-believe concept…” – Jay Austin
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan honestly believed that in general, humanity is “Generous and wonderful and kind.”
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan intended to prove such by quitting their jobs in DC and cycle around the world to prove their point.
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were just savagely killed in a region known to be controlled by ISIS terrorists and ISIS sympathizers.
As reported by the New York Times;
Then came Day 369, when the couple was biking in formation with a group of other tourists on a panoramic stretch of road in southwestern Tajikistan. It was there, on July 29, that a carload of men who are believed to have recorded a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State spotted them.
A grainy cellphone clip [seen below] recorded by a driver shows what happened next: The mens Daewoo sedan passes the cyclists and then makes a sharp U-turn. It doubles back, and aims directly for the bikers, ramming into them and lurching over their fallen forms. In all, four people were killed: Mr. Austin, Ms. Geoghegan and cyclists from Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Without fail, ISIS jumped on taking responsibility for the killings, Again, from the NY Times;
In a bulletin issued by the internal news agency of the Islamic State on Monday, the group described the assailants as “soldiers of the Islamic State” and said the attack was “in response to calls to target citizens of Coalition countries.”
In a third article on the same topic, the NY Times also reported;
A day after claiming its first attack in Tajikistan, the Islamic State released a video on Tuesday that purports to show the five attackers joining hands and pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the terrorist group’s leader.
The video was released by the Islamic State’s internal news agency and suggests that the attackers had at least a digital connection to the Islamic State, allowing them to send the footage to the group before last weekend’s attack on several cyclists who were run over and attacked on a mountain road in Tajikistan.
Austin recently penned in his personal blog his musings of his experiences has he and Geoghegan biked the globe;
You watch the news and 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. People are axe murderers and monsters and worse.
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—it’s easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that’s quite rare. By and large, humans are kind.
Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this.
In a rather gruesome article published by the New York Times, it was revealed that not only did the ISIS cowards run down the bikers, after they were either dead or dying, the terrorists then set upon them with edged weapons;
Some of the bodies of the cyclists were found to have stab wounds, and in a statement posted on its website, the United States Embassy in Tajikistan confirmed that the attackers first used their vehicle to crush the victims and then jumped out and stabbed them with knives.