Khairallah Khairallah
Elaph (Opinion)
May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Osama bin Laden met the fate he deserved. It is thought that the Arabs will be amongst the first to congratulate the Barack Obama Administration for this achievement. Primarily they are supposed to try and learn from the experiences they endured as a result of the actions of Osama bin Laden. Difficult questions must be asked about the environment that allowed this phenomenon to survive and cause so much hardship. . This situation has caused harm to Muslims from all over the globe, but if Arabs can dare to ask embarrassing questions about the factors that allowed Bin Laden, and others like him, to wield such power, then there is hope that the recurrence of this sick phenomenon can be avoided in the future.

Perhaps the first lesson that can be learned from the death of Osama bin Laden is that the war on terror is alive and well, and Obama is determined to see it through to the end. This is despite the announcement he once made in which he stated that the war was over. The reason behind this declaration is that the US President wanted to distance himself from his predecessor, George W. Bush. Despite this it is clear that he is determined to go ahead with that war, but he will approach it in a different way. No criminal will escape from international justice, even if it takes ten years or more to chase him down. No terrorist can remain at large forever. The long arm of the justice system will catch him sooner or later.

The world is now rid of Osama bin Laden, who was sometimes erroneously called "Sheikh Osama" by those who were ignorant, or perhaps semi-literate self deceiving. The manner of his death was fitting: Osama bin Laden reaped what he had sown. The most distasteful thing about his demise was that he was eliminated at the hands of the Americans who had originally played a key role in making him and his likes.

There is a faction who ask for God's mercy for Osama bin Laden, and call for his beliefs to continue to be adhered to. This is evident in the unusual stance of “Hamas”.

The line which “Hamas” is taking is based on hatred and the rejection of other religions and ways of life. These beliefs are used as a justification for Bin Laden’s desire to kill and turn away from the values advocated by the true religion.

Unfortunately, Bin Laden was all too easily able to find support from all over the world; people who shared his desire to promote hatred. His ability to attract loyal followers enabled him to successfully execute his plan to 'invade' New York and Washington in 2001.

Those who appeal for God to have mercy upon Osama bin Laden know that their future is intrinsically connected to the continuation of "Al-Qaeda" and its crimes. The ugly connotations of this faction are seen by the world as being connected with all Arabs and Muslims.

Among those are Arabs, non-Arabs and Israelis who saw Osama bin Laden as a strong ally in their quest not to achieve peace in the Middle East, particularly for the Palestinians.

The Arabs and non-Arabs who supported Osama bin Laden set up a secret alliance with him, publicly called “The Front of the Resistance”. The only concern of this “Front” was to eliminate all hopes of peace and encourage the existence of doctrinal parties whose purpose was to destroy Arab societies from within.

In their own way those Arabs and non-Arabs were determined to finish what Osama bin Laden started; he divided the world into two camps in much the same way as George W. Bush did: with us or against us.

Regardless of what they say in public, the Israelis, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, have lost an important strategic ally in Osama bin Laden. He effectively spared them from making any kind of effort to progress the peace process with the Palestinians. It must be remembered that Ariel Sharon took advantage of the terrorist act committed by Osama bin Laden and his followers on 11 September 2001 and used it to put Yasser Arafat, the historic leader of the Palestinian people, under house arrest. This prevented him, with Arab collusion, from attending the Beirut summit in March 2002. At the time Sharon considered himself to be a partner in George W. Bush’s war against terror. . The Palestinians who carried out suicide operations in Israel gave Sharon the opportunity to promote the slogan in the absence of a Palestinian partner.

Arafat was a victim of Osama bin Laden. He remained a prisoner of the "boycott" in Ramallah until his death in 2004. To this day, the Palestinian issue is still suffering as a direct result of Bin Laden’s actions, and the Israeli occupation continues to arm itself with this 'suicidal' thought in order to justify its refusal to negotiate seriously with the Palestinian side.

To this day, nothing has changed. The slogan used by the Israelis remains the same. The only difference is that the entire Arab world is changing, including 'political Islam'. It seems that the current government in Israel is unwilling to take this into account. It believes that the indoctrinations of Bin Laden will triumph, and that the Muslim Brotherhood, which gave birth to Al-Qaeda and its beliefs, has no hope of developing further. It is believed that "Hamas", which condemned the operation of eliminating Osama bin Laden, will continue to flourish. This displays that it is complicit with the Israeli occupation, and that its primary concern is limited to changing the nature of Palestinian society. It has no interest in achieving the dream of establishing an independent state.

It is striking that Arab revolutionaries did not chant slogans calling for the hatred and rejection of other religions and societies. There was not a single young Arab man burning an American flag or calling to throw the Jews into the sea. The Arab revolutionaries from Tunisia to Libya through to Egypt, Syria and Algeria understand that the root of the problem primarily lies with their rulers. They also know that blaming the US could be seen as nothing more than “jumping the gun”. It is clear that Bin Laden’s death comes at a time when revolutionaries are calling for the end of “fossilized thought”, such as the ideology behind Al-Qaeda. To what extent will these revolutions succeed in eliminating these thoughts? The answer is that much depends on the ability of the Muslim Brotherhood to develop and move on from being a narrow-minded religious party, bent on stirring instincts - even if that required it having a secret alliance with Iran - and becoming a liberal party capable of embracing all that is civilized in this world.

There is a cause for some optimism in that the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey, led by President Abdullah Gul, has openly expressed their relief at the elimination of Bin Laden. It must be acknowledged though that getting rid of a man does not necessarily mean getting rid of his legacy of backward thinking; a thinking that has been embraced by people from all over the world.


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