Bin Laden and His Whole Way of Thinking – is Dead (Dar al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia)
Osama bin Laden may now be physically dead, but was the movement he spawned already as good as dead when he expired? According to columnist Ghasan Charbel of Saudi Arabia’s Dar al-Hayat, Arabs and Muslims have come a long way since September 11 – and they haven’t walked in bin Laden’s direction.
For Dar al-Hayat, Ghasan Charbel writes in part:
Bin Laden had lost the battle before he was killed. He lost it in Saudi Arabia where he attempted to destabilize the country. His fiercely confrontational approach, with all of its dimensions in terms of security and intellectual and religion thought, reduced the popularity of the man. He became isolated by a way of thinking that stemmed from despair, frustration and extremism. He also lost his battle in Pakistan, where he had dreamed of changing the nature and situation of the government – his only victory being that the country’s intelligence services turned a blind eye to him.
In recent months, bin Laden suffered major losses that showed how isolated al-Qaeda had become. Protesters in Tunis held up no photos of him and his photo went unseen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Protesters in Yemen and Libya never attempted to associate themselves with him. The Arab revolutions and protests have a different lexicon. They demand pluralism, the transfer of power, transparency and respect for differing opinions. They want to belong to the modern world and participate in building it. Their demands are from a lexicon that stands in stark contrast to that of bin Laden. Bin Laden tried to burn away the line of contact between Muslims and the West, and he achieved a certain success, especially among the ranks of certain communities. But the winds of the previous months have demonstrated the desire of Arabs and Muslims for freedom, dignity and advancement, as well as their longing to belong to the modern age, rather than resigning from it.
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