Numbers on the Death of Osama bin Laden

1. Of course, taking him alive would be a rich source of information as would have been a trial.

2. A life sentence would be a further source of information and possibly a jailhouse conversion in which the old fellow might start preaching the social gospel of Sayd Qutb from the jailhouse, calling on his followers not to seek seventy virgins but to work for justice in this world. Can’t have that.

3. The United States created Islamic fundamentalism by destroying movements for social justice in the Islamic world.

To Osama’s mentor, Sayyd Qutb, justice in this world was as important as justice in the next. Qutb, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, was not a religious nutcase. Here is Albert Hourani on Qutb’s message:

“In a famous book, al’Adala al-ijtima’iyya f’il-islam (Social Justice in Islam), Sayyd Qutb put forward a powerful interpretation of the social teachings of Islam. For Muslims, as distinct from Christians, there was, he suggested, no gap between faith and life. All human acts could be seen as acts of worship, and the Qu’ran and Hadith provided the principles on which action should be based. Man was free only if he was released from subjection to all powers except God: from the power of priesthood, fear, and the domination of social values, human desires and appetites.”

(Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples. Faber and Faber 1991)

That is: while “liberation theology” is marginalized in my church of origin, and replaced by hard-featured, care-worn people trying to get pie in the sky, Islam to Qutb was nothing but liberation theology, a religion of brothers and not of fathers (with the potential for generalization to sisterhood).

Which is why it’s become twisted by United States policy into desert princes doing their Haj in fancy hotel rooms looking down on God in Mecca whilst the little people are trampled, and guys in shorts in Causeway Bay bear-leading wives and daughters in Hijab in 30 degree heat.

3. The refusal of blood for blood is where it all got started in Abraham’s time. It ends with slobs cheering this shit.

4. My guess is that the CIA and military guys tried to take him alive but he preferred to go down in a blaze of gunfire.

5. So…nice going. You’ve created a saint and martyr.


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