Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The end of Osama, the joy of a nation?

Osama Bin Laden is dead. That is the news that shook the world last Sunday, when the U.S. president, Barack Obama, made a public appearance to inform the world about the end of Osama Bin Laden. The announcement spread around the world in no time, and very soon the images of happy Americans celebrating the killing of Osama were available on the mass media.

With all that in scene, I couldn't help but to have a flashback to September 11, 2001. The image of the World Trade Center in New York falling down before the unbelieving eyes of the world, while a group of people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank rejoicing reappeared in my mind. The view of people singing, dancing, baking cakes and eating sweets to celebrate the death and destruction of civilians elsewhere was frankly disgusting. How could people cheer such a coward act?

Back to 2011. The tables are turned around. While in Gaza a spokesman of Hamas condemned the killing of the "holy warrior" (sic) Osama Bin Laden, thousands of Americans poured into the streets to show their joy and excitement about Bin Laden's death. Despite my repulsion towards Osama Bin Laden and all that he represents, I found the celebrations to be ironically resemblant to those Palestinian celebrations of 2001. Why would the death of an individual be celebrated in such a way? Does his death make up for the damage made to the families of those lost during the different terrorist attacks orchestrated by Bin Laden and his organization? Will this end the threat that terrorism has posed against the world in the last decades? Unlikely.

The elimination of Osama Bin Laden is indeed a hit against terrorism, and should be a reminder that no terror leader is untouchable. But it should not be a matter of joyful celebration: It should be tribute to those victims who lost their lives in acts of terrorism, a bit of the justice that is long due to them.


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