A blog article by Bonniejean Alford (Educator, Activist, World Citizen)
Yesterday an American military action resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden nearly ten years after his directives caused one of the most devastating attacks on American soil since Pearl Harbor. The actions of 9/11 left thousands dead and millions broken, including myself. We plunged into a war based on speculation and lies. And some (maybe even many) Americans relied on stereotyping and judgement to mistreat innocent Americans who just happen to practice the same religion as Osama Bin Laden.
But they were wrong. The religion Osama Bin Laden led was not truly Islamic. Oh sure, it had its initial foundation in Islam, but he skewed it to meet his own misguided beliefs and desires, disguised as needs, a common plight of extremist religious groups.
As I noted above, 9/11 devastated me. It left me depressed, scared, and dare I admit it, judging Muslims and Arabs. That judgement ended the minute I noted it in myself with recognition that if someone like me that sees equality and acceptance as the most important behavior for humankind can slip due to fear, than who can truly blame those that have never been educated to believe such behaviors as valid.
For me, I simply turned to what I know, education. Since 9/11 I have taken the time to learn all I can about Islam. I know full well that the sect Osama Bin Laden led was a fundamentalist political mess that went against the very wishes of the God he proclaimed to serve.
That’s the problem with extremism. It creates a huge mess. And in this case, the mess Osama Bin Laden created has impacted America, and the world, at such levels that too many have lost sight of justice.
I hope and pray that the intent of the military action was to take Osama Bin Laden alive, to be put on trial, and face his victims, allowing for a restoration of justice and faith. If not, the action was nothing but sanctioned retaliation against a group of people that obviously are not understood.
Fact is, whether the killing was intentional or merely a consequence of the military action, justice has not really been served, revenge, yes, but not justice. And I am left wondering, is anyone even truly concerned about the backlash that this action is going to cause? Sure, they have set the alerts to high, but everyone seems to be too calm and celebratory.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do have faith in the military to protect us, but shouldn’t they have focused more on serving justice and restoring society before they simply killed the man perceived as to blame for all America’s problems.
Simply put, I predict, sadly, that there will be retaliation by Osama Bin Laden’s minions and I am worried that it will begin a continuous cycle of retaliation, plunging us further into the war(s) we never should have entered into in the first place.
What worries me most is that these minions are not stupid when it comes to violent action. Think about it, they planned a time specific collaborative action with multiple interconnected parts and remained on the run for nearly a decade. This terrorist group should not be assumed disbanded. In fact, quite the contrary. I believe that they will bide their time until they believe we think it is 100% safe. This is when they will strike and do the greatest damage.
Maybe I am being pessimistic. But in truth, I am simply being realistic.
Justice is not an easy thing to come by. Osama Bin Laden, formally public enemy number one, is indeed dead, or so the military tells us. I have seen no body, which they claim to have. And I wonder, if he wasn’t just the face of terrorism and the head of the snake we have just cut off will grow back twice.