Today (2 May 2011), I awoke to the news that a U. S. Navy Seal team finally killed Osama bin Laden. Huzzah for the Seals. His death does raise a few points:
1. A great deal has been made over the report that he was buried at sea according to Muslim custom. Why was he given that? It’s time that we call bin Laden what he was: an infidel. The killing of innocents is in no way acceptable in Islam. The Qur’an commands far better treatment of women than Osama’s message tolerated. For example, when his compound was attacked, he pulled a woman in front of him as a shield. So much for the great warrior. He was not a great leader, either in the military or spiritual sense. He was a thug and a coward, and may the fish enjoy eating him.
2. The one good thing about his living this long is that he got to see what has been called the Arab Spring. He saw Arab people rising up against their dictators, while at the same time not embracing his ideology. We don’t yet know where that movement is going, but at present, it rejects the barbarism that bin Laden advocated. Osama died at the hand of his enemies, and he died having the evidence of his failure before him.
3. The fact that Osama was living within an hour’s drive from Islamabad and within sight of a military academy suggests that at least elements of the Pakistani government were aware that he lived in their midst. Pakistan has a lot of explaining to do and a big decision to make. Will they join the democratic world or sink farther into a grotesque thug state? We’ll be watching.
More news will come out as time goes by, but for the moment, we have cause to be hopeful.