News / Middle East

Reaction in Middle East to Bin Laden's Death is Muted

People read newspapers at a news stand carry headlines "Osama bin Laden killed." in Hyderabad, Pakistan on Monday, May 2, 2011.
People read newspapers at a news stand carry headlines "Osama bin Laden killed." in Hyderabad, Pakistan on Monday, May 2, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

The reaction to Osama Bin Laden's death has been largely muted in the Muslim world.  While some fundamentalists are angry he was killed by U.S. commandos, most people appear to want to put al-Qaida and its violent methods behind them.

The Islamic Defenders Front, an Indonesian fundamentalist group, held a prayer service for Osama bin Laden.  

But this view is not the norm in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population. In 2002, an al-Qaida affiliate, Jemaah Islamiyah, carried out a bombing in Bali that killed more than 200 people.


At the Kelapa mosque in Jakarta, people praised the U.S. action.

"It is quite good for the entire world because bin Laden is a terrorist," Indonesian resident Darma Widjaya said.

"When I heard that Bin Laden was killed, I was very happy because the number of terrorists like those that haunt Indonesia is decreasing," Ellen Sitorus said.

Bin Laden was killed early Monday in a raid by U.S. commandos in Pakistan.  In Cairo, Egypt, reactions to his death were also mixed.

"I'm not really happy but at least something good happened.  I hope this will be better for everybody," said one person in Egypt.

One Cairo resident believes the way the al-Qaida leader's body was disposed of at sea was not in accordance with Islam and he predicts that will harm America's image here.

But the strongest objections were raised over the way some Americans celebrated the death of the world's most notorious terrorist.

Sheikh Assem Abdel Maged is a leading member of the militant group Gamaa Islamiya.  "The joy expressed by Americans towards an operation that involves killing and bloodshed of more than one person presented a real shock to the Arab and Islamic public opinion," he said.

Egypt's Muslim brotherhood says it's now time for the American military to leave Iraq and Afghanistan.

But there has been no outpouring of grief for a terrorist who saw himself as a Muslim leader.

Michele Dunne is a Mideast specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "I think most people in the Arab world don't find bin Laden or al-Qaida very relevant to them anymore," she said.

Dunne says the uprisings in the Arab world have shown that change is possible through other means.  "The kind of model of violent change that al-Qaida represented and the idea that leaders had to be overthrown either in religiously motivated revolutions or through assassination, through violent means, it just doesn't seem very timely to people anymore," she said.

Dunne also says Bin Laden had lost much sympathy among Muslims long before he was killed, and now relatively few are mourning his loss.


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid