A young liberal couple from America quit their jobs to spend an entire year cycling through dangerous territory. They believed they would be fine because, according to them, “evil is a make-believe concept” and “humans are kind.” But, boy, were they ever wrong.
According to The Daily Wire, a young American couple who took a year-long bike trip around the world, believing that evil was a “make-believe concept,” took a fatal route in Tajikistan, where ISIS terrorists stabbed them to death. Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, both 29, quit their jobs last year in order to make their trip.
Austin was a vegan who worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Geoghegan was a vegetarian who worked in the Georgetown University admissions office.
Austin maintained a blog called Simply Cycling, where he explained, “I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige. I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”
The couple’s trip, which lasted 369 days, took them from the southernmost tip of Africa in Capetown, South Africa, to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and finally Tajikistan, where they were murdered along with two other cyclists, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands.
While in Morocco, Austin wrote:
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.
Austin also had some contemptuous words for President Donald Trump:
On the television across the room, Al Jazeera plays softly. Donald Trump has just announced his plans to move an embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the Muslim world is visibly upset. Leaving Rabat a week earlier, we’d pedaled right by a massive peaceful demonstration against the relocation. The television broadcasts footage of protests just like that one stewing up all across the Maghreb, the Middle East, and beyond. As a clip plays of a sullen Trump waddling across the screen, I do my best to disappear into the soft plush of the couch cushion behind me. But American as we may be, no one here seems to mind.
Austin was clearly no fan of President Trump’s “America First” policies and his hardline stance on radical Islamic terrorism. However, he would soon learn that the Muslim world isn’t all sunshine and roses — he would soon learn just how important it is to protect against the terrors wrought on innocent Americans by radical extremists.
On July 29, as Austin and Geoghegan were riding their bikes with two other cyclists in Tajikistan, they came face-to-face pure evil — and instantly learned that it is definitely no “make-believe concept” — as five men exited their car and stabbed the bicyclists to death.
A grainy cellphone clip recorded by a driver shows what happened next: The men’s 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. Two days later, the Islamic State released a video showing five men it identified as the attackers, sitting before the ISIS flag. They face the camera and make a vow: to kill “disbelievers.” [Source: The New York Times]
If “evil is a make-believe concept,” I wonder how Austin would describe what happened to him. Of course, we’ll never know the answer to that. His life and the lives of three others were ended by the same ISIS terrorists whom Austin refused to believe existed.
These knifemen weren’t just “fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own.” They are evil incarnate. They set out to kill anyone with different beliefs in brutal fashion. Sadly, Austin’s policy of love, tolerance, and acceptance at all costs ultimately cost him everything.