On hearing about the death of Muhammad the Prophet of Islam his successor exclaimed:
For those who worship Muhammad the man, the Messenger of God, know that he is dead. For those who worship his God know that He lives and cannot die.
Likewise for those who hate Osama Bin Laden the man, leader of Al Quaida. He is dead. For those that hate what he stood for, know that his message and his spirit live.
His message that The United States of America is an enemy of God and of the religion of Islam although diminished remains intact. The message is that the U.S is concerned with its superiority, power, and money above all else as a matter of policy is the foundation of his argument. According to Bin Laden these policies are in line with The Devil and not God. His spirit looms larger now than it ever did in life. It appears that we have lost more than we have gained by his death. We -have elevated him by killing him in battle. We are in danger of causing the lives lost on 9/11 to be in vain. When anger, arrogance, and pride reign supreme, indeed, Satan and his agents are present and in control. Some of our actions and of our government and its entities following 9/11 to the present give Bin Laden’s claim the ring of truth.
The world has changed dramatically since 9/11. A small portion of that change is directly from the 9/11 killings. The majority of the change comes from our response to it. Our “War on Terror” is born from pride and anger. Even after capturing Saddam Hussein and defeating the Taliban (Mostly out of anger as Hussein had no discernible ties to Bin Laden or Al Quaida and the Taliban was at odds with Al Quaida), we allowed our pride to keep us engaged in destructive senseless wars. We masked our pride in a cloak of pro-democracy. In doing so, we chipped away at the freedom and security provided by our own “democracy.” We edged closer to engaging in the same liberty smothering tactics of the regimes we brought down, never thinking to address Bin Laden’s claims.
Once our paranoia and anger subsided, we did some good work when we reevaluated how we looked at the cultures throughout the rest of the world. To a degree, we returned to our melting pot beginnings. Entertainment, entertainers, clothing, and other merchandise that were previously unknown to America were welcomed with open arms. In this way the United States grew. But Osama Bin Laden’s greatest unheralded achievement was opening the door for Barack Obama, the United States first “Black” president.
At one point on the verge of confrontations with North Korea and Iran, we were forced to fall back due to a lack of resources and support from other nations. We are now trying to fully disengage ourselves from the messes made in Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot regain complete financial stability while so engaged. We are, however, supporting the revolutionary fervor spreading across the globe. It seems we assume everyone is fighting to gain Democracies not because these countries leaders are not performing well. This is our arrogance at its worse again.
Osama Bin Laden is indeed dead if by dead we mean his body is lifeless. But he is otherwise alive. He is responsible for changing the world. Some changes made in decades to come will be made directly or indirectly because of him. We are rejoicing because he is dead. Let us now lose focus. Let us not be everything he claimed that we are. Neither superiority, nor power, nor money is the reasons we founded this great nation. Freedom is the reason America exist. Whether that freedom is ours or someone else’s, let’s not forget that freedom like beauty appears differently through each individuals eyes. We must allow others to have their liberties on their own terms. We must also allow other countries and their leaders to see their own light. We cannot force others to see through our eyes. They have neither our sight nor our perception. Anyone who has had a bright light shined in their eyes suddenly knows that such a light can be blinding and can cause a loss of vision instead of gain.
We may hate Osama Bin Laden. We may hate what he said. We may hate his misguided beliefs. Nevertheless, without regard to what we believe is right or wrong, good or bad, his mission was predicated on what he believed was right in the eyes of God. Although he may have been wrong in his presentation, his approach, and his actions, that does not mean everything he said was wrong. There is a saying that, “Although he is evil, even Satan sometimes says the truth.”
We ridded ourselves or his body but we will never rid ourselves of his spirit. As such, why not explore his views? Why not ask why despite his evil deeds was Osama Bin Laden so successful in his mission? Has God sent us a message? Are the 9/11 deaths in vain if we do not learn the Truth from them? What did we learn from Hitler? What will we learn from Bin Laden?
Until we answer these, Osama Bin Laden Lives.