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.

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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid