Death of a martyr?

I’m a bit ambivalent about writing this entry. But it’s been bouncing around in my head all day, so…

I’m more that a bit concerned about the celebratory aspect associated with the death of Osama bin Laden. I saw something on the interweb saying that it was the perfect end to the perfect weekend – the fairytale wedding followed by the death of the bad guy. That jars with me.

Now I know that Osama bin Laden was responsible for many evil acts – acts that were callous, cowardly and designed to strike terror into the hearts of many people. So I don’t feel any sympathy for him. But nor do I want to rejoice in his death – for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I’m concerned about what has become/is becoming of our humanity. I remember my sense of revulsion at the celebrations in the Middle East after the 9/11 atrocities. Why is this any different?

Secondly, I’m concerned about how the so-called ‘Muslim world’ will view our ‘Western/Christian’ reaction. Will one death lead to more radicalisation, more terror, more death and mayhem?  I suspect that his death will be portrayed, by those who wish to perpetuate violence, as the death of a martyr.

Finally, I’m concerned that we may have removed the head of a terrorist movement, but I’m not clear what we have done – if anything – to deal with the underlying issues. Bin Laden and his associates were able to appeal to a particular group of Muslims, to encourage them to plan and execute outrageous acts of terror, over a period of many years. Has anything really changed?

I’m concerned.


2 thoughts on “Death of a martyr?

  1. Totally agree. I feel all kinds of ambivalence in myself and perhaps a smidgeon of hypocrisy because I can’t find it in myself to be sorry he’s dead. And obviously it was going to happen some time. And yet I also find this jingoism deeply unsettling and like you it seems so similar to the celebrations in the Middle East after 9/11. I hadn’t seen the remark about the perfect end to the perfect weekend – that’s actually disgusting. Thanks for posting this. It’s a complex issue.

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