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Bin Laden has become a significant moral challenge to Muslims.

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    Bin Laden has become a significant moral challenge to Muslims.

    Interesting article floating over the net, and sent by emails, informative to read, spotting down some essential and unrecognized points.

    The Author said:


    Muqtedar Khan

    Do no mischief on Earth [Quran 7:56, 7:74)

    Those with good sense must prohibit mischief on earth (Quran 11:116)

    Bin Laden has become a significant moral challenge to Muslims. His

    alleged association with the perpetrators of 9/11 attacks raises a major

    question about the relationship between Islam and terrorism. If he is

    guilty then he incriminates the faith of Islam by using it as a

    motivation and justification for his actions. If he is innocent, then

    why is he such a big hero?

    If Bin Laden is not guilty of the embassy bombings, of the attack on

    USS Cole and the attack on America then why do some Muslims admire him?

    Bin Laden has become a symbol of resistance and empowerment to a

    community deprived of freedom and opportunities for self-determination.

    He is a hero to a community that has long got used to living with an

    overwhelming sense of helplessness. He is a promise that even the weak

    and the hopeless can strike back.

    If my understanding of why Bin Laden is a hero is correct then it means

    that his charisma is dependent on Muslim acceptance that he is indeed

    responsible for the various attacks against the US, regardless of the

    availability of evidence. He is a hero because some Muslims believe that

    he indeed pulled of all those spectacular attacks against the world's

    sole superpower. His heroism and his popularity in the Muslim world is

    an indictment of him as a terrorist and his supporters as supporters of


    But Muslims, without any reservations, have condemned the attacks of

    Sept. 11th as morally reprehensible and unjustifiable. Prominent member

    of the Ulema have also established the unIslamic character of the 9/11

    attacks. All Muslims agree that terrorism is unIslamic and deplorable

    and the perpetrators must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Bin Laden has denied any connections to the attacks and many Muslims

    believe that he is really innocent and are critical of the American

    establishment for not providing conclusive evidence against Bin Laden

    before launching a war against Afghanistan.

    How are non-Muslims, unsympathetic to the "conditions that engender

    violence" supposed to interpret Muslim condemnation of the attacks and

    Muslim hero worship of Binladen? How can Muslims condemn terrorism

    without also condemning terrorists?

    How US media and authorities resolve this dilemma of, Muslim

    condemnation of the attacks and simultaneous support for Bin Laden, will

    determine the future relations not only between the US and Muslim

    nations, but also between mainstream America and American Muslims.

    As long as Muslims hesitate to condemn Bin Laden they will be seen as

    supporters of terrorism. This issue has also become a test of Muslim

    loyalties to America. When and if the FBI and company do produce

    conclusive evidence against Bin Laden, Muslim condemnation of the man

    will be meaningless. As of now many Muslims, including some leaders who

    have no conclusive evidence of Bin Laden's innocence have chosen to err

    on the side of Bin Laden and not America. This may make them popular in

    some pockets of the Muslim community, but it also makes them suspect in

    American mainstream.

    It baffles the mind to watch American Muslim leaders waffle over

    condemning Bin Laden as a terrorist who is misappropriating Islamic

    ideals and incriminating Islam in his campaign of terror. This man has

    undermined decades of hard work by these very same leaders to make Islam

    more acceptable in America. The shadow of Bin Laden now looms large on

    the decades of efforts by these same leaders at building bridges with

    other faith-based communities. The issue of condemnation stands clearly

    between American Muslims and the American government. Rather than

    perceiving American Muslims as a national asset and source for

    diplomatic expertise that can be deployed in defence of American

    interests, the establishment sees American Muslims as potential

    suspects, because they are not confident about where Muslim sympathies


    The only reason why there is no explicit condemnation of Bin Laden by

    major Muslim organizations, who have recently condemned American bombing

    of Afghanistan, is perhaps their fear of losing support with the

    constituency that they seek to serve. They fear that if they condemn

    him, even as a matter of self/public interest (maslaha in Islamic law)

    they will be perceived as taking sides with America in this war between

    America and Islam.

    We Muslims have to realize two important things; Bin Laden and his

    tactics, no matter how just his causes, are detrimental to Muslims as

    well as to the image of Islam. The present suffering of the Afghan

    people is a direct consequence of their association and support for Bin

    Laden. Secondly, we cannot hide behind the issue of evidence and hedge

    about condemning those who murder innocent people, in direct violation

    of Islamic teachings.

    When we say that there is no evidence against Bin Laden, what we really

    mean is that there isn't enough to meet the legal standards of American

    and western jurisprudence. Since when have Bin Laden and Taliban become

    subscribers of the Bill of rights and amendment 14 (due process) of the

    US constitution? Just take a look at the way in which Taliban's courts

    have meted out justice in the last five years. The video tapes in which

    Bin Laden says that he supports those who attack the US, the fatwa's

    declaring war on the US, his promise of more such attacks, alone should

    be sufficient to hang him according to the legal practices of the

    Taliban, and for that matter other Middle Eastern regimes which are

    notorious for their kangaroo courts.

    Why does Bin Laden and not ordinary citizens of Afghanistan deserve the

    full protection of civil liberties guaranteed by the US constitution?

    Bin Laden supports the Taliban and he deserves only what they can offer.

    Hang him to the soccer goal post, where the Taliban have hanged many in

    the recent past using their medieval techniques of law enforcement.

    Let's assume for the sake of argument that Bin Laden has nothing to do

    with 9/11. This man is still guilty of the following acts: He has

    blasphemed Islam (by following Wahabism and the Ikhwan (Islamic

    brotherhood)). He has used its sacred principles to incite murder and

    mayhem. He has declared war on the US and called on all Muslims to

    murder Americans making Muslims targets for retaliatory attacks. He has

    exposed millions of Afghans to war, starvation and misery to save his

    own skin. If he were a hero, he would have surrendered. Not because he

    was guilty, but to save poor innocent Muslims from the ravages of war.

    He has attacked the moral fabric of Muslim life by glorifying terrorism.

    He is trying to embroil the Muslim Ummah in a global war of death and

    destruction by calling the American war on Bin Laden as a war on Islam.

    His use of Islamic values have made Muslims look like terrorists and in

    most parts of the world people are associating Islam with violence and

    Muslims with terror. This man does not have the interest of Islam or

    Muslims at heart. He is an enemy of Islam and Muslims and should be

    treated as such.

    It is time Muslim scholars and leaders fulfilled their Islamic duty

    (Quran 11:116) and condemned Bin Laden for what he is, and rescued not

    only Islam but also our misguided youth from the clutches of this

    mischief monger.

    Exposing the Enemy With in!

    Ahmad G
    Islamic Studies Teacher/Student.