Following September 11, 2001, TIME Magazine author Lisa Beyer described bin Laden as the typical Muslim extremist: fanatical religiosity, hard-line interpretation of Islam, outrage toward the
Hate toward Americans, Jews and Christians
“Every Muslim the minute he can start differentiating, carries hate towards Americans, Jews and Christians, this is part of our ideology. Ever since I can recall, I felt at war with the Americans and had feelings of animosity and hate towards them,” said bin Laden in an interview with al-Jazeera Arab television in 1998.
That same year, in an interview with TIME magazine he said, “Our work targets world infidels. Our enemy is the crusader alliance led by
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, bin Laden was born in
As a young college student, he fell in with the radical, Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood. Throughout the 1980s, Osama bin Laden fought with and helped fund the mujahedeen, holy warriors, against the Soviets in
Emboldened by the defeat of the Soviets in
After nearly a decade on the move, including a stint in
Bin Laden and al-Qaeda took credit for the September 11, 2001 attacks on
Bin Laden did not keep his beliefs or intentions secret
Bin Laden didn’t sneak up on us. A thorough chronology of his edicts and statements is posted on PBS Frontline.
Bin Laden’s Fatwa or “Declaration of War Against the Americans Who Occupy the Land of the Two Holy Mosques” foreshadows the events of September 11, 2001.
“Due to the imbalance of power between our armed forces and the enemy forces, a suitable means of fighting must be adopted, i.e. using fast-moving, light forces that work under complete secrecy. In other words, to initiate a guerrilla war, where the sons of the nation, and not the military forces, take part in it.”
In an interview with CNN he says, “We declared jihad against the
“For this and other acts of aggression and injustice, we have declared jihad against the
Bin Laden announces the creation of the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders, in association with extremist groups from Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh:
“We—with God’s help—call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s
“The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.”
Only the United Kingdom Observer chose to run a “Letter to America” from bin Laden. In it, he goes point-by-point describing the sins of
He affirms his seriousness by including a couple paragraphs on “The Nation of Martyrdom; the Nation that desires death more than you desire life.” The letter brought Harley Sorensen, self-proclaimed liberal iconoclast, to write in the San Francisco Gate that, “As the events of Sept. 11 showed, and as we see almost every day in
We won a battle but not the war
In the 1998 al-Jazeera interview, when asked if the
We needed a win.
Thank God we got one Sunday, May 1. Bin Laden may be dead, but his legacy lives on. The war, in both figurative and literal terms, is not over. We must take seriously the beliefs of Muslim extremists, like bin Laden, because their numbers are many. We must teach our children who this man was, and why we had no choice but to take his life. They will be faced with the choice of continuing the fight or giving in to the “advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness” of the many bin Laden disciples.
Writer, Carla Garrison follows current events with one eye on history and one eye on the future. Her goal is to encourage people to think critically about their lives and the world. Follow Carla at Twitter: CarlaMGarrison
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