I read the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden (OBL) with mixed emotions. Firstly I congratulate everyone, not only the American people and the America Government, but everyone on what can only be described as a massive victory for the War On Terror. This terror affects us all, Muslim, Non-Muslim, religious, non-religious, black, white and so on. But i do have deep reservations about the manner in which this victory was obtained.
I would also urge everybody to show restraint and patience when considering joining in open celebrations of the death of this individual. Regardless of what he may have done during his life, and which philosophy he chose to follow and teach, his was a human life. The murder of thousands of innocent people on that horrible day of 9/11 reinforced to us how sacred life is, and how unjust it is to take life when driven by prejudice, hatred and anger. For this reason i find open celebration of the loss of life abhorrent, filthy and vulgar. Such celebration can only be described as a blemish to the very essence and virtues of humanity, as well as hypocritical. One life is not more valuable than another because of the values it chooses to follow. Please be reminded that it was a similar proposition that eventually lead to the abolition of the death sentence in the United Kingdom (1965).
OBL and his terrorist organisation represent a minority – a minority that presents a very real and continuing threat to all life, liberty and equality amongst men – so i urge you all to remember that the majority of Muslims are affected by this terror in exactly the same way that you and i are. I do not believe in collective blame and i impress upon you the need not to fall in to this trap. I will not celebrate the death of any human being and i do not support the views of anyone who would place a higher moral value of one belief system over another – because that would mean having to make a judgment on a belief system that i know little about. All i know about Christianity is that Catholics and Protestants don’t like each other, and because they don’t like each other they killed hundreds of British civilians during the 70s – 90s. They even tried to kill Margaret Thatcher (Brighton Bombing, 1984) and yet my government never declared a War On Terror at that time. And despite this i have never and will never label all Christians as terrorists. I have lived through the terror of road blocks, armed police and the threat of a letter exploding when i open it. I now live in terror of being labeled an Extremist, a Fundamentalist, an Islamicist… a Terrorist. The terror inflicted on me by our leaders and our media is very real and i hope that you as free thinking and intelligent people will understand that OBL does not, has not and never will represent me or any other Muslim.
It is very unfortunate, but with OBL has died the hope of justice. There are many survivors of the atrocious attacks perpetrated by this man and his terrorist network all over the world, and the living relatives of those that have perished, who lived in the hope that this man would be brought to justice. This can now never happen and we will never know for sure what precise role he played in all of those attacks. My thoughts are with those who lived in that hope of justice. My thoughts are also with those that died. To mourn their death with celebration in the death of another is an insult to their memory.
I am relieved that Osama Bin Laden is no more. But David Cameron does not speak for me, i speak for myself – i live in hope that i will be heard and understood.
When a single drop of blood is spilled in anger, anywhere in this world, then we have all lost – there will never be a winner.