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Muslim-Americans bid good riddance to bin Laden

04 May

Muslim-Americans bid good riddance to bin Laden

‘Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims’

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Image: Man walks by graffiti-covered wall in Portland, Maine

Gregory Rec  /  The Portland Press Herald

Jirde Mohamed walks past graffiti on the front of the Maine Muslim Community Center in Portland, Maine, on Monday. Just hours after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed, the center reported that it had suffered a grafitti attack. The slogans included “Osama today Islam tomorow (sic),” and “Long live the West.”

By Kari Huus Reporter

msnbc.com msnbc.com

updated 5/3/2011 1:03:53 PM ET 2011-05-03T17:03:53

Far from mourning the death of Osama bin Laden, most Muslim-Americans are celebrating his demise, saying they have no sympathy to spare for a man who indiscriminately slaughtered people of all religions and launched their community into a decade of distrust and discrimination.

“A lot of (Muslim-Americans) feel, first and foremost, catharsis and relief,” said Wajahat Ali, a Muslim-American writer and attorney in the San Francisco Bay area. “Relief because Osama bin Laden was a global symbol of terror and indiscriminate violence.

“… It’s also a relief because he symbolizes (those who) hijacked Islam, legitimizing his ruthlessness (using the) religion. …  His name and the photo (are) imprinted on the collective consciousness of the world.” 

Video: Americans celebrate triumph over bin Laden (on this page)

Islamic leaders contacted Monday by msnbc.com said they saw justice in killing bin Laden and emphasized that he was not one of their own.

“Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims,” said Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America. “Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

Backlash
But they were divided about whether bin Laden’s demise would mark a turn for the better for the Muslim-American community, which many say has been subjected to anti-Islamic attacks and overzealous intelligence gathering by U.S. authorities as a backlash sparked by bin Laden and his al-Qaida terror network.

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“For too long, many of our fellow Americans have stereotyped the entire Muslim community as somehow being extensions of bin Laden,” Yasir Qadhi, an Orthodox Muslim leader and Islamic Studies scholar at Yale University, said in an email.  “While the capture of Osama bin Laden was always a high priority, dealing with bin Laden should never have distracted us from solving our domestic problems, nor been used to create problems that did not exist (by targeting and stereotyping the Muslim community).

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“With his death, we pray that we as a nation can regain our composure and begin in earnest to take our country to greater heights.”

Interactive: A timeline of Osama bin Laden’s life (on this page)

Sufu Hashim of the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts put it more bluntly: “Maybe the Islamophobia can stop now,” he said. “The persecution of Muslims can stop now, particularly in the United States.”

According to intelligence experts, bin Laden’s ability to coordinate terrorist attacks dwindled over the decade since he laid the groundwork for the Sept. 11 attacks, as dogged pursuit of his operatives fractured the al-Qaida network. Al-Qaida took weeks to respond to the popular uprisings in the Middle East, which many terror experts said was a reflection of diminished relevance and capacity.

‘Sense of relief’
Nonetheless, the removal of bin Laden — because of its symbolism — could help lessen the animosity towards American Muslims, suggested Ali, the Bay Area lawyer.

“Maybe his death makes people feel safer. In some ways it doesn’t matter if they actually are,” he said. “He’s this powerful icon of evil, the bogeyman, the face of terrorism. The fact that he is eliminated has caused a lot of people to exhale.”

“There is a sense of relief,” agreed Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American Islamic Relations. “There’s a sense that we are a little bit safer today than yesterday but obviously this is not the end of terrorism in our time. The ideology behind (terrorism) remains and needs to be challenged.”

Video: Mission accomplished: The end of bin Laden

Bin Laden’s death also does not end efforts by extremists to recruit disaffected Muslim-American youth into violent action.  That represents a serious threat, according to many terrorism experts, who cite several planned attacks in recent years inspired by a Muslim extremist born in the United States and living in Yemen — Anwar al-Awlaki .

Muslim-American leaders say the threat exists, but argue that it has spiraled into irrational fear, as demonstrated by recent controversial congressional hearings focused on the threat posed by such home-grown terrorists..

“In addition to eliminating the leaders of al-Qaida, we must also challenge the theological rationale of these radicals, and address the socio-political concerns that enrage them to such a level,” said  Qadhi, the Yale scholar. “Until all of these are done in tandem, we shall always worry about the possibility of another person ‘going radical’ on us.”

Those concerns pervade the theological spectrum.

Image: Police officer stands next to the graffiti-covered Maine Muslim Community Center in Portland

Gregory Rec  /  The Portland Press Herald

Officer Gavin Hillard takes notes at the door of the graffiti-covered Maine Muslim Community Center in Portland, Maine, on Monday.

“Some people in my community are sort of Pollyanna-ish. They’re hopeful that this is going to make a difference in America’s Islamophobic behavior,” said Karen Keyworth a Muslim in East Lansing, Mich., and co-founder of the Islamic Schools League of North America. “I would like to think that’s true, but I do not think so.”

Those concerns gained voice hours after President Barack Obama announced on Sunday that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden. The next morning, a Muslim Community Center in Portland, Maine reported that it had been attacked by graffiti artists overnight. Scrawled across the building, which serves mainly Somali Muslims, were the words:  “Long live the West,” and “Osama Today, Islam Tomorrow.”

Those hateful words underline the challenge facing Muslim-Americans – an obstacle made so much larger by bin Laden and his decade long campaign of terror, said Ali, the Bay Area lawyer.

“The war on extremism isn’t over,” he said. “And the war on ignorance is not over.”

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Video: Americans celebrate triumph over bin Laden

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  1. Closed captioning of: Using kid gloves to teach children about bin Laden

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    >>> finally tonight, all the images of americans celebrating the death of osama bin laden can be difficult for kids to process when they see them on tv. the kids too young to have known what 9/11 really was or who this man was who’s now dead. from roxbury, mass tonight the story from nbc’s peter alexander .

    >> that’s really wrong.

    >> reporter: most of us know exactly where we were during the september 11th attacks , but not crystal pujols at orchard garden school near boston. she was just a preschooler.

    >> where were you on 9/11?

    >> i really don’t remember, actually.

    >> how old were you?

    >> i was 5.

    >> reporter: here in the shadow of logan airport where both planes took off that crashed into the twin towers , nick jesuwaldi is teaching his civics classes about that tragic day and the death of osama bin laden , a man that most of his students had never heard of.

    >> for some reason or another they just hadn’t been taught that over the years. so it was a huge surprise.

    >> reporter: in southern california eighth-grade teacher jill bergm echl r’s students are coming to understand the recent news too.

    >> there are so many people who were killed and injured that had like nothing to do with it.

    >> reporter: when current events are themselves history-making and dictate what’s taught in history classes, the lesson plan can be challenging. for students there’s a complicated mixture of joy and fear.

    >> there may be retaliation. it’s not over. and that makes you aware of what can happen next.

    >> reporter: among their questions, is killing someone ever okay?

    >> i think it’s good that he’s gone and he’s out. but i feel sort of guilty for celebrating his death.

    >> reporter: and in ora dell, new jersey a community impacted by those attacks 10th-grader samuel is cautiously expressing some relief.

    >> justice has been served. finally the killer of thousands has been caught.

    >> reporter: as these students search for meaning in this week’s events —

    >> you still haven’t convinced me to be on your side.

    >> reporter: — perhaps the most important lesson is that not every question has a simple answer. peter alexander , nbc news, roxbury, massachusetts.

    Show transcript

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  64. David Huber and Nicole Lozare of Arlington, Va., pay their respect to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon Memorial early Monday morning, after President Obama announced bin Laden’s death. A special forces-led operation killed the al-Qaida leader in a mansion outside Islamabad in Pakistan. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Share Back to slideshow navigation

  65. Crowds gather at ground zero in New York on Monday. (Justin Lane / EPA) Share Back to slideshow navigation

  66. U.S. Marines of Regiment Combat Team 1 watch TV at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Monday as President Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama said late Sunday U.S. time that justice had been done after the September 11, 2001, attacks, but warned that al-Qaida will still try to attack the U.S. (Bay Ismoyo / AFP – Getty Images) Share Back to slideshow navigation

  67. People celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden in Times Square in New York City on Sunday night. (Pantaleo-Taamallah / Abaca) Share Back to slideshow navigation

  68. Related video Bin Laden’s burial at sea ‘unusual’

    A crowd outside the White House in Washington cheers on Sunday upon hearing the news that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is dead. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP) Share Back to slideshow navigation

  69. President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden has been killed during a televised address on Sunday, May 1, 2011. (NBC News) Share Back to slideshow navigation

  70. Pakistani security officials arrive at the hideout house Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on Wednesday, May 4. (Aamir Qureshi / AFP – Getty Images)Share Back to slideshow navigation

  1. Image:

    Irwin Fedriansyah / AP

    Above: Slideshow (69) World reacts to death of Osama bin Laden – World reaction

  2. Image:

    Aamir Qureshi / AFP – Getty Images

    Slideshow (23) World reacts to death of Osama bin Laden – The compound

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Timeline: A timeline of Osama bin Laden’s life

Considered enemy No. 1 by the U.S., the Saudi millionaire is the perpetrator behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Click on key dates to learn more about the founder of al-Qaida, an international terror network.

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Discuss: Muslim-Americans bid good riddance to bin Laden

585 total comments

‘Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims’

kaara

I expect that the Muslim American community is happy to see this terrorist removed from the face of the earth. He was nothing but a blight on Islam and did nothing to further relations between the East and the West.

Hopefully we can now go forward in peace and put hatred behind us.

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kaara, with 26

Reply

IndyStacey

Bullcrap. Yes, there were some Muslim extremists who celebrated 9/11, but I don’t recall any of them being in the US.

Read the Christian Bible and you will see just as much violence. Are you afraid of Christians?

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IndyStacey, with 14

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sjacobs123

Muslim leaders hope the death of OBL will result in the moving forward of relations with Muslim Americans and an end to war on ignorance and extremism.

A good start would be the acknowlegement by those leaders that Muslim extremists do exist and Jihad is wrong. The best way to demonstrate this would be to come out publically against these people. The Muslim leadership is doing a very poor job of selling their religion as peaceful.

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sjacobs123, with 7

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Tracy-3200200

I hear, appreciate and accept the statements by Muslim Americans and leave it at that.  There’s no reason to doubt their sincerity.  To my fellow Americans who are Muslim – Thank you for persevering through this difficult time; maybe things will really begin to heal now.  From a Christian American.

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Tracy-3200200, with 3

Reply

Affinity1

The war on ignorance and extremism is as applicable in America as it is anywhere else. America has every advantage from freedom, education, and diversity to continue to exist as the most privileged nation on Earth. Yet human behavior is as intellectually polluted as the most primitive and aggressive people on earth. That dichotomy shames our nation, degrades our example, and defeats our potential to live as we preach and claim to believe.

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Affinity1, with 11

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Mr.Bubbs

What were you doing in an Islamic Center? And where was this dancing and cheering of American Muslims during 9/11 of which you speak?

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Mr.Bubbs, with 8

Reply

FilthyCur

bin Laden was no more a Muslim than Hitler was a Christian. The beast was nothing more than a mass murderer and a manipulator of propoganda, hate and fanatacism. I only wish they beheaded his corpse, put it on a stake and encased it in lucite and then mounted it at Ground Zero. He did not deserve any respect or a decent burial, Muslim or otherwise.

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FilthyCur, with 7

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Jack Flash-3190538

As a veteran, nothing has made me feel more nauseous than watching our yellow dirtbag lawyer-politicians trying to spin the demise of bin Laden for their own benefit. It was not ‘their’ actions that brought that scum pile to justice but the actions of highly trained and brave soldiers who risked their lives. Come election day, I will remember those who tried to take credit and those who told the truth. My deepest appreciation for the brave men and women of our armed forces.

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Jack Flash-3190538, with 6

Reply

Affinity1

This is another case where the facts are abundant and clear, but comments are wild speculation, distorted ravings, irrelevant flights of fancy or uninformed opinion and unwarranted speculation. Comments are best when they are based on facts and reasonable observation.

The intellectual level of comments boil down to a sixth grade average, just as public discourse traditionally does, but are overloaded with deliberate agendas that distorts even basic mediocrity.

The present opportunity is to educate oneself and exercise self-discipline in ascertaining facts and drawing conclusions rationally, the offering an informed conclusion backed by thoughtful, defensible research. That is an approach that can serve one in gaining an educated understanding that improves your perspective gradually, the more it is exercised. Self-education will greatly improve your grasp of your personal ability to realize truth. That will last a lifetime as perpetual education and personal credibility and skills.

Education isn’t a training phase under institutional conditions that ends at graduation. It is the boundless opportunity to build your personal credibility and confidence and make a valuable contribution to society, your work, and yourself.

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Affinity1, with 6

Reply

bobotheclown

Good riddance. And sincee he was not a Muslim leader or even a Muslim, his body should not have been disposed of in the sea to show respect, it should have been releaed to independent ME’s to confirm it was him.

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bobotheclown, with 6

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  1. Headlines

    1. Mystery surrounds wounded bin Laden wife

      Updated 109 minutes ago 5/4/2011 9:47:06 PM +00:00 A wife of  Osama bin Laden who was wounded in a raid on his compound may have a treasure trove of information on the slain al-Qaida leader but isn’t likely to give it up to U.S. authorities.

    2. Updated 47 minutes ago 5/4/2011 10:48:19 PM +00:00 Photos show three dead men at bin Laden house
    3. Updated 21 minutes ago 5/4/2011 11:15:09 PM +00:00 Bin Laden aides were using cell phones, officials tell NBC
    4. Updated 20 minutes ago 5/4/2011 11:15:55 PM +00:00 NBC: Obama won’t release bin Laden death photo
    5. Updated 88 minutes ago 5/4/2011 10:07:28 PM +00:00 Differing accounts emerge of bin Laden raid
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1 Comment

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Goverment

 

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One response to “Muslim-Americans bid good riddance to bin Laden

  1. baggedemotions

    May 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Wow there’s a LOT of information on this page…I’ll have to come back and check it all out…thanks for sharing!

     
 
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