Monday, May 02, 2011

The Muslim Reaction To Bin Laden's Death

As should be expected, much of the Muslim world had an entirely different reaction to Osama bin-Laden's death then we did here in the US.

In many areas of Pakistan, rallies were held condemning the assassination and referring to bin-Laden as a 'holy martyr' like the above one in Quetta, where a Pakistani member of parliament was present and American flags were burned. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf condemned the attack as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty, and said the US should have had Pakistani security carry out the raid. Of course in that case, doubtless bin-Laden would have conveniently moved to a new location.

Al-Jazeera's coverage was notable in that the newscasters maintained a very somber demeanor, used phrases such as 'the so-called War on Terror' and featured several commentaries critical of the raid.

Tareq al-Zumar of the Egypt's Islamist group al-Gama'a al-Islamiya: "Bin Laden will become a symbol of resistance to occupation... The U.S. killing of bin Laden will undoubtedly galvanize reaction and retaliation attempts."

And the Muslim Brotherhood called for the US to remove its troops from thje Arab world. "With bin Laden's death, one of the reasons for which violence has been practiced in the world has been removed," said Essam al-Erian, a senior member of the Brotherhood.

That was actually dominant theme in much of the opinion in the Muslim world - Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda were a problem not because of their violent actions per se but because those actions provided an 'excuse' for retaliation by the West.

OtherArabs like Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi saw Osama's death as less relevant these days, because al-Qaeda is not the primary Islamist group anymore.

In the Palestinian Authority the reaction was mixed. Fatah put out a statement calling the killing "good for the cause of peace", but Arabs rioted and held rallies in the Palestinian occupied areas of the Judea and Samaria as well as in Jordan. Hamas, Fatah's new partner and power sharer condemned the attack. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister mourned bin-Laden, saying:

"We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs. We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood."

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1 comment:

louielouie said...

as with most events there are more than two sides.
i see three in this event.
right thinking people.
the animals ff writes about in this essay.