No one right now is questioning the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Fact is, I think the entire Muslim ummah (community) has accepted the brutal fact that indeed, the face and persona of the greatest enemy of Western colonialism is no more. He was killed. He was assassinated and in the end, his body was thrown like some rag-tag doll into the sea.
Many Americans rejoiced over news of his death. Those left behind by 3,000 people killed ten years ago at the twin towers were ecstatic. In some way, they felt vindicated. The one who masterminded this brutal attack against two of the West’s iconic symbols of degradation has finally been caught by the law.
That’s why many, even in the blogosphere, write many thing for and against Bin Laden. Many says he belongs to the rogue list of the world’s murderers like Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin and those dictators.
As a historiographer, I can’t help but disagree. Osama bin Laden’s place in world history should always be in the proper perspective.
Those who hate him for launching those attacks against the West would always think lowly of him. Osama, for them, was just like Hitler, who massacred millions of people for the sake of a racist ideology.
Indonesians has just heaped him their thanks. Filipino Muslims even feted him as a martyr in today’s jumaah session at the Golden Mosque in Quiapo Manila.
Two images are being formed right this minute by the people about Bin Laden. There’s that image of Bin Laden leading the charge of Islamic militants against the United States and there’s this image of him, a destroyer of civilizations.
If we just remove these rosy colored glasses and assess his place objectively, we’ll definitely say that his place is among those who struggled against U.S. imperialism.
The palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Filipino muslims should not respect nor emulate the fallen leader simply because Lacierda thinks he’s a criminal. Touting the State department’s line, the Philipine government tries to picture Bin Laden as a mass murderer, something which earns him the unviable position of being in league with Hitler and Idi Amin.
Osama was not a person who sought for the destruction of Western civilization. Osama was against apostate governments, governments who do not recognize the authority and power of God. Osama was an internationalist, spreading the gospel of revolution. IN the eyes of an oppressed Bangsamoro, Osama was their inspiration. He provided a voice to those who felt oppression, those who lost their loved ones in the never-ending war in the Middle East and those whose rights are being trampled upon every single day by Israel’s intrusions in Palestine.
Osama is supposed to live a fanciful life of a prince with all the riches that Allah SWT gave his family. Yet, he chose to live a life least chosen by many.
He chose to side with those oppressed, those of the widows, of the poor and the orphans. He chose to side with the millions of those who struggle every single day in the streets of Cairo, in the dusty sand bowls of Yemen and Syria and those Muslim faithful living in the poverty-stricken towns of Mindanao.
Yes, his methods are somewhat detestable, but following the teachings of the Noble Qu’ran and those of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, it was within the bounds of the Sharia.
When anybody, foreign or a local power, who tries to confiscate property of a Muslim illegally, it is the right of that Muslim pious to struggle militantly against the pillager.
When U.S. and those of the West bomb Palestinians or Muslims struggling against their oppressive regimes, it is the right of Muslims to strike back.
Hence, it is but fitting that he be the hero that oppressed Muslims everywhere would continually look and admire for and possibly a villain for those affected by their governments oppression of the Muslim global community.