This topic related to Osama Bin Laden has created a lot of controversy around the world. I am interested in hearing the views of others on it. Beginning with Peter Joseph's remarks, there have been a number of responses thus far, including the response of Edgar Hopida, who represents the Muslim organization C.A.I.R. in the greater San Diego area. He is a very reasonable fellow, usually, and these remarks of his are along those lines. John
--- On Tue, 5/3/11, Edgar Hopida
From: Edgar Hopida
Subject: RE: TZM: Response to Media; Death of Osama bin Laden
Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 12:36 PM
>Many Muslims didn’t celebrate the tragedy of 9/11. It was a far small number than the over billion of Muslims who equally mourned the loss. In fact approximately 50 American Muslims died in the twin towers. I welcomed the death of bin laden because he has tarnished the image of my faith and has made some Americans very distrustful of Muslims. My opinion editorial was published today in the San Diego UT reflecting that http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/may/03/for-muslims-in-us-a-sense-of-relief/ . I agree we should not fall to the level of terrorists. We as Americans should be better than this and be at a higher moral ground than them.
Edgar Hopida, Director of Public Relations
Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Diego Chapter
8316 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 203
San Diego, CA 92111
Media Requests: 619-913-0719
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Sandi Whitteker
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 12:24 PM
Subject: RE: TZM: Response to Media; Death of Osama bin Laden
Ok, I'm engaged. Must respond a little.
I agree and disagree with Walter. I agree completely that I don't appreciate all the chanting and jumping around about this assassination. Isn't that exactly what so many Muslims did when the buildings went down? Isn't that what really hurts, to know how happy so many people were at the demise of 3000 souls in that attack? I'm not comfortable with that image of America to the world. It's beyond immature.
That's not to say I'm not glad for his death. It's a long time coming and he was at the helm when the orders went out for the 9/11. He made a point of videotaping his delight in the success of their mission, as both buildings crumbled to the ground and thousands of lives were lost. It's good to have him off the planet. Just a bit less evil around. But let's not fall to his level in how we celebrate his death. And let's not make him so important, either.
Just one person's opinion.
I respectfully disagree.
I never cheer when someone is injured, killed, or fired from a job, but I felt pretty darn good about this one.
Walter was way off on this one, in my opinion.
You are this best. This is so needed. You have my support. I could not of said this better. In the spirit of Dr M.King, I love you.
Sent from my iPhone
On May 3, 2011, at 8:23 AM, Walter Davis <email@example.com> wrote:
For your consideration.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TZM: Response to Media; Death of Osama bin Laden
On May 1, 2011 Pres. Barack Obama appeared on national television with the spontaneous announcement that Osama bin Laden, the purported organizer of the tragic events of September 11th 2001, was killed by military forces in Pakistan .
Within moments, a media blitz ran across virtually all television networks in what could only be described as a grotesque celebratory display, reflective of a level of emotional immaturity that borders on cultural psychosis. Depictions of people running through the streets of New York and Washington chanting jingoistic American slogans, waving their flags like the members of some cult, praising the death of another human being, reveals yet another layer of this sickness we call modern society.
It is not the scope of this response to address the political usage of such an event or to illuminate the staged orchestration of how public perception was to be controlled by the mainstream media and the United States Government. Rather the point of this article is to express the gross irrationality apparent and how our culture becomes so easily fixed and emotionally charged with respect to surface symbology, rather than true root problems, solutions or rational considerations of circumstance.
The first and most obvious point is that the death of Osama bin Laden means nothing when it comes to the problem of international terrorism. His death simply serves as a catharsis for a culture that has a neurotic fixation on revenge and retribution. The very fact that the Government which, from a psychological standpoint, has always served as a paternal figure for it citizens, reinforces the idea that murdering people is a solution to anything should be enough for most of us to take pause and consider the quality of the values coming out of the zeitgeist itself.
However, beyond the emotional distortions and tragic, vindictive pattern of rewarding the continuation of human division and violence comes a more practical consideration regarding what the problem really is and the importance of that problem with respect to priority.
The death of any human being is of an immeasurable consequence in society. It is never just the death of the individual. It is the death of relationships, companionship, support and the integrity of familial and communal environments. The unnecessary deaths of 3000 people on September 11, 2001 is no more or no less important than the deaths of those during the World Wars, via cancer and disease, accidents or anything else.
As a society, it is safe to say that we seek a world that strategically limits all such unnecessary consequences through social approaches that allow for the greatest safety our ingenuity can create. It is in this context that the neurotic obsession with the events of September 11th, 2001 become gravely insulting and detrimental to progress. An environment has now been created where outrageous amounts of money, resources and energy is spent seeking and destroying very small subcultures of human beings that pose ideological differences and act on those differences through violence.
Yet, in the United States alone each year, roughly 30,000 people die from automobile accidents, the majority of which could be stopped by very simple structural changes. That's ten 9/11's each year... yet no one seems to pine over this epidemic. Likewise, over 1 million Americans die from heart disease and cancer annually - causes of which are now easily linked to environmental influences in the majority. Yet, regardless of the over 330 9/11's occurring each year in this context, the governmental budget allocations for research on these illnesses is only a small fraction of the money spent on “anti-terrorism” operations.
Such a list could go on and on with regard to the perversion of priority when it comes to what it means to truly save and protect human life and I hope many out there can recognize the severe imbalance we have at hand with respect to our values.
So, coming back to the point of revenge and retribution, I will conclude this response with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., likely the most brilliant intuitive mind when it came to conflict and the power of non-violence. On September 15, 1963 a Birmingham Alabama church was bombed, killing four little girls attending Sunday school.
In a public address, Dr. King stated:
“What murdered these four girls? Look around. You will see that many people that you never thought about participated in this evil act. So tonight all of us must leave here with a new determination to struggle. God has a job for us to do. Maybe our mission is to save the soul of America . We can't save the soul of this nation throwing bricks. We can't save the soul of this nation getting our ammunitions and going out shooting physical weapons. We must know that we have something much more powerful. Just take up the ammunition of love.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King, 1963 -