Tonight, I saw the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed and I am relieved. The Council on American Islamic Relations ,CAIR, “Welcomes Elimination of Osama Bin Laden”. I hate war and violence, even in the death of my enemy I feel some remorse. A life wasted by one who advocated hate. That reciprocal hate turned to more hatred and killing. Some years ago I was videotaped in a paid television ad spot produced by (CAIR), in it I denounced the promoters of terrorism and violence by any one including Bin Laden. It was followed by an interview on the O’Riley Factor in which denounced him and people who preach hate and violence.
I was happy to see the non-violent resistance movements sweeping parts of the Muslim world, leveraging the non-violent legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). When the Egyptian military held back from attacking civilians I saw the hope and power of non-violence. But then when Qaddafi turned his soldiers turn on the civilian population in Libya I found my heart bleeding and crying for Article 7 of the UN Charter to take military action which has now led to the deaths of Qaddafi’s son and grandchildren. War is hell. The temptation to use force is a seductive tool to resolve conflict, but without reconciliation it only postpones the need for dialogue and understanding. Peace is a mass movement not an event.
Some time after those television broadcasts I encountered a Muslim friend of mine. He said to me that he was so proud of me for taking such a bold public stand against Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, terrorism and the support of Muslims especially American Muslims. Then he said something I had not thought about. He said that was really brave of you!
For a second it thought, ‘How can talking on television be brave’. Then it dawned on me or he said it (i can’t remember), people like Osama Bin Laden silence their critics by cutting of their heads. So I guess I should be happy that he (Osama Bin Laden) is dead.
Maybe now when I travel to countries in the “Muslim World” I’m safer because he is gone. Perhaps his henchmen will forget what I an other American Muslims have said and take me off their list of “Most Wanted Americans”……but I fear that violence only begets violence.
I believe that Jesus, The son of Mary, The Messiah and Muhammad, The Prophet -Peace be upon them both were peace makers in their time. They opened an era in human history to preach peace, tolerance and love.
Yet we followers have much to learn. We, the followers of the peace makers demonstrate our loyalty by making war and killing. We must redouble our efforts to make change in the hearts and minds before the crisis of expediency causes us to kill. It seems that the just war theory is always used a “justify” war theory. There must be a better way.
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allaah as just witnesses;
and let not the enmity and hatred of others allow you to avoid
justice. Be just: that is closer to piety; and fear Allaah. Indeed,
Allaah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.”…..Al-Maa’idah 5:8