Most of today's news has been occupied by the death of Osama bin Laden yesterday. Many different perspectives have been discussed and a variety of topics have been brought to the surface by this event.
A topic which has reared its ugly head again is religious intolerance. This has been portrayed by the criticism of bin Laden's burial, celebrations on the streets in America praising God for the killing of bin Laden and even more anti Muslim feeling throughout the world.
Most of the world can agree that the events of 9/11 were horrible, no matter what religion you are or are not. As humans, that kind of mass killing triggers in us a sense of disbelief which leads to grief and anger. Bin Laden's role in these pointless killings made him one of the most hated people of our time. And I understand that. I think his actions are deplorable. What I don't understand, is how the actions of one crazy man with his small group of crazy followers led people around the world to persecute the Muslim people as a whole.
Killing in the name of Islam is wrong. Leaders of the Islamic faith have condemned this by saying this is not what Allah wants. They have stated that what these extremists are doing is misreading the Koran to justify their hatred of the West and the pointless killings they carry out. The West watched their televisions and saw a different picture. They were horrified at flags being burnt, celebrations of the events of 9/11 and support for bin Laden and his merry group of followers. This small group of extremists tarnished the Islamic faith as a whole in the minds of people around the world. There were mosques destroyed, people bullied and beaten in the streets and more overt 'profiling' of innocent people.
And yet 10 years later, Osama bin Laden is killed in Pakistan. And there are celebrations throughout the US. People are cheering on the streets with signs and balloons. Celebrations that resemble those we saw after 9/11 by Islamic extremists. Have we such a short memory? Is death really a cause for celebrating and cheering?
People are stating it was God's will that bin Laden died. They also believe that God is on our side. It sounds strangely familiar because I remember the extremists after 9/11 saying Allah was on their side. I don't know what Bible they are reading but mine states 'Thou shalt not kill'. Killing in the name of God is just as wrong as killing in the name of Allah. It's not the message and is just extremists finding justification for murder.
What the US did was a necessary action against a man that had left them no choice. But to celebrate the death of a person, no matter how evil is wrong. And to assume that there is no one that will replace him is naive. We live in a world where people carry out evil deeds. But blaming God, Allah or any religious group as a whole for these deeds is the height of naivety.