Forget the future. Forget the fact that al Qaeda, the conglomerate, will continue to operate and spread terror. Forget the fact that the timing of this death is extremely suspicious given what is taking place in Afghanistan and Fata.
Let go of the fear of an imminent backlash in Pakistan.
This is the time to celebrate the death of a foul man, backed by a foul, twisted ideology that justified the murder of innocent people in the name of power.
This is the time to say goodbye Osama Bin Laden – may I never see your face on TV again, and may my children never have to mention your name, except perhaps as passing references to cheesy Bin Laden T-shirts and coffee mugs (which I definitely plan to purchase).
I had earlier written a piece ‘Good riddance to Faisal Shahzad’ for which I received a fair amount of criticism (and thankfully a healthy amount of positive feedback). People around me told me I should not take such joy in the tragedies that befall another, even someone who is the perceived enemy. Who knows the true story behind these people and what may have led them down the path they went?
Some apologists go as far as to say that while terrorists like Bin Laden or the failed Faisal Shahzad are ideologically twisted and their methods foul, there are at least some grains of truth in their criticisms and commentary on the West, capitalism, globalisation, Israel, Pakistan’s government, or hell, even global warming!
The fact of the matter is that we are all responsible for our thoughts and our actions, and a man like Osama Bin Laden has time and again shown the world that his acts and intent are not in the interest of a utopian “Islamic ummah” but in the interest of an “Islamic ummah” led by him and his ruthless, murdering gang of followers.
The fact that many Muslims around the world buy into this childish nightmare-fantasy does not lend credence to such a myopic world view; it just indicates that there are many out there who have been misled by a man who stole enough ideological memes (the sound byte equivalent of an idea) which connected to a core audience and tied them into a plot to rule the world.
In other words: Osama Bin Laden was just a typical ruthless villain, with enough power to hurt others, but not enough vision or strength of ideology to win over the majority – and nobody should cheer for him.
So goodbye, Osama Bin Laden.
Call it base human nature, call me a western liberal extremist, but I cannot bring myself to do anything but cheer at news of your death.