On the killing of Usama bin Laden

Category: Americas, Life & Society Topics: Killing Channel: Opinion Views: 4881

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un. We come from God and to Him we return." (Quran 2:156).

As a Muslim I am expected to mourn the loss of life at all times and of all people and not rejoice in the death of any, even my worst enemies. Hence I mourn and I pray for the innocent victims killed ten years ago in New York just as I mourn and pray for the millions of innocent people killed in Iraq and hundreds of thousands in Afghanistan. As a Muslim I say, "we come from God and to Him we return." (Quran 2:156). 

I pray that the indiscriminate violence comes to an end with the death of Usama bin Laden although recent history teaches us otherwise. The hanging of Saddam Husain did not bring peace to the people in Iraq nor the killing of Usama bin Laden will make the world safe. But a just world will inevitably give birth to peace and hence safety for all. 

Retributive forms of justice does not allow the humanity an opportunity to experience true peace. Restorative justice does. 

Although the nation was told by former President Bush eight years ago (May 1st, 2003), that the "Mission (is) Accomplished" in Iraq, but yet American soldiers continue to occupy Iraq until today. The then Presidential candidate Barrack Obama promised to end wars and bring back troops but after getting elected, President Obama broke his promise by sending more troops to Afghanistan. As a result of ongoing wars, hard working Americans are suffering and are unable to afford rising costs of education, lack of health care while losing jobs and homes. 

Both wars, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, have given us tears and drained our treasure and both wars must stop now. Humanity has been a victim of much death and destruction while Americans continue to live in fear from the "other." 

As a person of faith and conscience I am committed to imagine and work for a new paradigm that is void of violence in all its forms and full of love in every form. I invite my fellow Muslims to either take lead in restoring justice and peace for all people or join those who are working for the same cause. 

"To God belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And to God will [all] matters be returned." (Quran 3:109). 


Shakeel Syed is the executive director of Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. More of his reflections can be read on his blog.

  Category: Americas, Life & Society
  Topics: Killing  Channel: Opinion
Views: 4881

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Older Comments:
The Middle East is a complicated mess, with plenty of hatred, mistrust, and blame. The US
might be uniquely positioned to improve situations, except that they roll in with too many
hats: friend, police, arbitrator, protector, avenger, facilitator. They negotiate peace
between Arabs and Israelis while at the same time proclaiming an irrevocable friendship
with Israel. They espouse democracy--that Israel is the only democracy in the region is
said to be the foundation of the US commitment to the preservation of Israel--while they
maintain relationships with the despots in the region. The US wants to be seen as altruistic
but they never miss an opportunity to be self-serving. US presence in the Middle East does
more harm than good; it harms the people of the Middle East and it harms Americans who
need to be better served by our government.

TOM FROM U.S.A. said:
Well said Mr. Shakeel , Count me in with you.

Interesting to note that all victims felled by the US executioner's axe were conveniently categorised by this self appointed judge, jury & executioner, as either "Suspects", "Potential Threats", " Persons of Interest", "Collateral Damage" and "Unintended Victims" (as opposed to "Intended Victims"). Even Osama Bin Laden was never listed as "responsible" for 9-11 but rather, once again a "suspect" in an unexciting event of bombing of a US embassy in Kenya. It would be all too optimistic to assume that with the murder of Osama Bin Laden, America's insatiable appetite for blood and gore will be quenched in the brutal and celebrated snuffing of this fragile unarmed old man and his wife. Or perhaps with the murder of Qaddafi's grandchildren and his sons, or previously, his step-daughter by Bush senior, or the disgusting spectacle of hanging Saddam - a man who outlived his usefulness to his erstwhile American masters and from shaking hands with Rumsfield, ended up dangling by his neck at the end of a rope - a gory event cheered by US masses drunk on blood and beer. US's leaders, black or white, perpetuate the history of this macabre country written in the blood and entrails of scores of innocent masses, indigenous or kidnapped and dragged to the country as slaves. When that was not enough, the slaughter was simply continued to foreign lands - especially where governments & their people were defenseless and were sitting on resources Americans coveted, such as oil, metals or timber. Nothing much has changed with these white people who still speak with a forked tongue, who authored the "Trail of Tears" and whose ancestors butched their way into South America, greedly seeking gold and slaves. What would psychiatrists and social scientists theorise about this nation called Americans, who were once cast out of England and Europe and banished on this new land called America? Perhaps that their insane criminal nature is ingrained in this nation's psyche - even after 500 years.

It should be noted that although the "war" in Iraq continued after the death of Saddam, the role of US troops long ago became one of cooperation with most Iraqis. In fact, it was the crazed, indiscriminate brutality of Al Quaeda in Iraq that caused many Sunni tribes to ally with the infidel US. Now I believe America is ready and willing to leave Iraq. Already the Iraqi government has offered oil contracts to mostly non-US companies - exposing the lie of the claim that we stay behind for oil. If that was the case it stopped being so when the oil men left the Executive Office in 2009. Mostly we stay behind because we don't want a full civil war to break out in our wake. Watch: as we draw down further the Iraqi government - which even thoroughly anti-US Islamists such as al
Sadr participate in - will as quietly as possible ask us to stay.

Afghanistan is currently a bigger mess and as an American I want us to leave as quickly and as completely as possible while still remaining faithful to any good, honest Afghanis that have put their trust in us. We should be able to do that with far fewer than 100,000 soldiers. Inside 5-10 years we should be out completely. The situation is difficult, but if you think Pakistan is anything but worse for the people of Afghanistan you are blinded by hatred of the US, non-Muslims, or something. The evidence is clear: cooperation with the US will bring good things. Ask the Japanese, the Germans and the South Koreans (and compare South Korea to North!).