(Photo: Rolling Stone magazine Facebook)
Rolling Stone magazine has triggered a firestorm of criticism after featuring Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its front cover, with many saying it makes him look like a "rock star."
"The Bomber – how a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster," reads the cover of the popular magazine, under a photo of the 19 year-old Tsarnaev.
BBC News noted that thousands of people have since taken to social media, saying that the cover is "tasteless" and "disgusting."
Last week, Tsarnaev made his first public appearance in federal court pleading "not guilty" to all charges against him. He – along with his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in the shootout incident – is being accused of killing four people in total and injuring over 260 at the Boston Marathon bombings in April and at a later shootout with police.
Rolling Stone's Facebook page has been attracting a lot of attention, with a Facebook post announcing the Tsarnaev cover garnering over 12,000 comments as of Wednesday. Many have expressed their displeasure with what they see as "glamorizing" the suspected bomber.
"Oh look, Rolling Stone magazine is glamorizing terrorism. Awesome. I will NOT be buying this issue, or any future issues," posted one Facebook user.
Other comments read: "What a slap in the face to the great city of Boston and the Marathon Bombing victims."
"As someone who lives in the neighborhood of Martin Richard (the beautiful 8 year old boy who was killed) and knows other victims this SICKENS me. Where are the survivors of this tragedy who are persevering day in and day out on the cover? Why glamorous him and the heinous act associated with it?"
Still, some others have said that they believe Tsarnaev is innocent and have taken initiatives to support him. Facebook groups such as "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent" have been set up, and petitions with that message have been launched.
"I just think that America (and the world) wants a villain and people are too busy trying to point the finger at innocent people without actually looking at who the real criminals are in this whole thing; the government. People just accept whatever is easiest to swallow/what helps them sleep at night, and in this case, it means pinning it on Dzhokhar," one such petition signed by 255 people reads.
The three people who lost their lives at the bombing include 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23; and 8-year-old Martin Richard. MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed three days later.