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Bin Laden neither martyr nor hero – Muslim leader

Source : Edd K. Usman | Manila Bulletin
MANILA : Philippines | 13 May 2011

Terror leader and al-Qaeda network founder Osama bin Laden, whose death as in life continues to spawn debates among Muslims because of his violent “jihad” (struggle in the way of Allah), is neither a hero nor a martyr to the Muslim world as his doctrines exceeded the limits of Islam, a Muslim religious leader said Friday.

Aleem Naguib Taher, chairman of the Metro Manila chapter of Insan Islamic Assembly (IIA), said he believes that Muslims should not regard the Saudi-born Yemeni as a martyr or a hero.

“His death is not a great loss to Islam and the entire Muslim ummah; he is not even considered as martyr to the Muslim world because his doctrine is exceeding the limits of Islam,” said the youthful Taher, whose group has been holding seminars for imams who are Muslim religious leaders serving as prayer leaders.

Bin Laden died just like any human being, he said. “If the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Allaihi Wassalam died, how much more for Bin Laden. “(Osama) is not even a hero to the Muslim world,” said the IIA leader.

Bin Laden did a good job in Afghanistan as one of the US recruits to fight the Russian occupation, said Taher, apparently acknowledging the slain Arab’s fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan as that of a true “muhaheedin” or fighter in the way of Allah.

“But in the long run his Al-Qaeda group became worst and committed terrible acts in the name of Islam and tinted the world’s perception of Islam. In fact, (Osama) murdered both Muslims and non-Muslims alike when he supported terroristic style bombings in public places. Murdering innocent civilians has no place in Islam,” said Taher.

Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 jumbo jets suicide attacks in the United States that killed about 3,000 people from over 80 countries, was killed last May 1 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by US commandos.

Taher acknowledged that the question in the minds of Muslims nowadays include: “Is Osama bin Laden a hero or a martyr?”

There are some Islamic believers who may regard him as hero or martyr, Taher said. However, there are many more who believe that Bin Laden does not deserve that title, the Muslim leader added.

“Bin Laden’s kind of Islamic theocracy or jihad means little to most Muslims, especially the young Muslims. Many of them are rather attracted to expressing Islam through democratic (groups), instead of Islamic extremism...terrorism and violence,” said Taher.

IIA will hold its imam training today at a hotel in Sta. Cruz, Manila, to equip the participants the requirements to be an effective spiritual leader in particular and as good Islamic followers in general.


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