Osama Bin Laden is dead. The U.S. government has been on his trail for almost 13 years and after America offered $25 million on his head—dead or alive he simply became the target of the largest manhunt ever taken in the history of mankind. But not everyone celebrated Bin Laden’s death. Not everyone saw him as a terrorist, in fact, some thought of him as a hero. Although Bin Laden may be regarded as a hero, but by killing innocent civilians, hijacking the noble religion and culture of Islam, and pushing the Al-Qaeda’s mentally challenged individuals as suicide bombers he has to be considered as a true terrorist.
The debate about Bin Laden is a big and a very controversial one. Some people, like the Afghanistan people, might think that bin laden is a hero for taking revenge for Muslims from America. They might believe that by planning for the 9/11 events, Bin Laden showed America that Muslims can fight back. Also, the fact that he was killed without a trial made a lot of people question whether it was the right thing to do or not. According to Ortiz and Kirschbaum’s article from Reuters, Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero went the farthest, becoming the first European leader to say openly that he would have preferred bin Laden stand trial.
Last Wednesday Zapatero told Spanish Parliament, “Any democrat would have preferred to see him stand trial.” But even if Bin Laden showed that Muslims are not weak and could fight back, he killed unarmed civilians in the process and there is no justification for that. Also he is one of the main reasons for distorting the image of Islam. After the 9/11 events whenever the word Muslim or Arab is mentioned it is usually associated with terrorism. So even though Bin Laden should have gone through a trial instead of being killed immediately, he deserved to die and he would have been sentenced to death anyway.
The first reason why Bin Laden should not be considered as a hero is because he killed innocent civilians. “Had Osama bin Laden attacked only military targets, then his actions might have been more acceptable because those who enter the military sign a document in which they admit they are
aware of the dangers they may face.” (Bancroft-Hinchey) His whole plan to attack anybody in the building from women to old people to everyone in the building weakens his motive. Furthermore, a lot of families were permanently damaged because of what Bin Laden did. There were those who lost a mother, others who lost a father, a sister, etc. His choice to attack not only military targets, but institutional and civilian ones as well, while such may have made him a hero a few centuries ago, turned him into a pariah in today’s international community, more and more based upon mutual love, friendship and common values which respect debate and dialogue and discussion, the fundamental precepts of democracy.
The second reason Bin Laden could not be viewed as a hero is his using Islam as a curtain for his terrorism. Bin Laden has distorted the tolerant principles of Islam, which are based on respect for others and respect for other religions, and what has helped him is the media in its promotion and circulation of his statements, which have distorted the concepts of the Islamic religion which are based on security, peace and moderation and shunning extremism. As Judge Hamoud al-Hatter, Yemen’s Minister of Islamic Endowments and Guidance says “We cannot in any way say that he has achieved victory but on the contrary, he has incurred a great loss in this world and in the Hereafter.
There are many Western thinkers who share our view that bin Laden has badly hurt Islam and distorted its concepts, which are based on freedom, justice and coexistence among nations.” (Darem) The videos Bin Laden posted for the whole world to see in which he took responsibility for all his brutal acts and used the name of Islam as his motive totally ruined the image of Islam and of Arabs specifically in front of the entire world American movies now stereotypes as terrorists, Arabs are usually the villain in the movies trying to kill the innocents. Bin Laden is mainly responsible for this distorted image.
The third reason why bin laden should not be viewed as a hero is mentoring and leading to Al-Qaeda’s individuals to commit suicide attacks. In Islam, it’s forbidden to kill oneself no matter what the reason is. There has been some debate about whether those who commit suicide, are doing a good or a bad thing, but in conclusion killing yourself willingly for whatever reason in Islam is considered wrong. In this case, Bin Laden encourages Al-Qaeda’s individuals to kill themselves for all the wrong reasons.
Killing themselves is bad enough; add to this the fact that they are killing innocent people in the process. Bin Laden Chooses specific personalities for Al-Qaeda, who are weak and who are not really religious so he could teach them religion his way. He chooses people who have psychological problems and starts to convince them that they should kill themselves because god would want them to fight Americans that way; he convinces them that by committing suicide attacks they will guarantee themselves a place in heaven as a reward from god.
To sum up, Bin Laden should not be considered a hero in anyway. The fact that he killed innocent civilians and used the name of Islam to do it made him an enemy not only to Americans but to Muslims and Arabs as well. True, he should have faced a trial instead of being killed instantly, yet he should have been killed in the end anyway.
Courtney from Study Moose
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