Last night, at 10:43pm, my sister sent me a text, “Osama is dead. Turn on the news.” At first, I wondered if it was real. I turned on the news, and it hadn’t been confirmed yet. Then, as newscasters were getting more updates, it was confirmed that a human operation killed Osama. A human operation! Not a drone strike that has been the cause of many Pakistani casualties. Obama had received intelligence from a week ago that Bin Laden was in a mansion outside Islamabad, Pakistan. Again, we were wrong. He wasn’t hiding in some cave we spent years looking in. Even Afghani officials told the U.S., “I told you he wasn’t here. We kept searching and searching.” So what justice do the Afghanis get that died with our military efforts? Okay, so we built schools, gave them electricity, etc. That could have been done without killing innocent Afghanis. And can we go back to the fact OBL was found in a mansion?! Note to current and future terrorists: your inspiration was found in a mansion, not a cave. He couldn’t handle a cave.
Obama authorized the operation in Abbottabad and OBL was killed in a firefight. This was great news, we finally got him. But now if we really think about, 10 years later, billions of dollars spent on unnecessary wars, more civilians lost in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan than the victims from 9/11 and terrorist attacks combined since, was getting this man really worth it? We killed the ring leader, but how many more Osama proteges are there?
Muslims and non-Muslims across the world despised Osama, the terrorist, to the core. But spending limited and our most precious resources (human lives) worth finding this man? Terrorists have existed prior to OBL and will continue to exist. Since 9/11, there have been hate crimes on Muslims, Sikhs and others that just “look Muslim.” We’re experiencing Islamophobia even today. This “war on terror” brought upon Islamophobia and does not seem it will die with the death of Osama. We still have our issues to deal with. There is still so much ignorance about what Islam means to the majority of Muslims. We need a #win on that. I’m glad OBL is dead, but do I feel safer? Will I get my identity back? Can being Muslim and Pakistani be okay again?
I just got tweeted about a mosque that got vandalized in Portland, Oregon. These were the words that were graffitied. “Osama today, Islam tomorow (sic),” “Long live the West” and “Free Cyprus.” The “USA! USA!” chants last night went overboard and statements like “Osama today, Islam tomorrow” certainly bring us backward. Are we like the terrorists celebrating death?
Graffiti on Portland Mosque Under Investigation, David Hench
Bin Laden Dead — War Was Not the Answer
Don’t Get Cocky, America- Al Qaeda is still deadly without Osama bin Laden, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross ttp://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/02/dont_get_cocky_america