The killing of Osama bin Laden dominated the headlines as I browsed through the daily news. I was a bit surprised I guess as I didn’t know people were still looking for him and there had been much conjecture that he was already dead. As I read through the details of the raid on Bin Laden I was bewildered by some of the information; especially that which pertained to his ‘Islamic’ burial.

First off, watching images of people dancing in the streets and partying to celebrate the killing of a human, regardless how evil, did not sit well with me. What do you even chant when you celebrate, “Wohoo! We killed Osama!”? How does this make you any better than these very terrorists who, I presume, rejoice similarly when they kill? I understand being relieved and feeling jubilant about the death of an evil person, but partying to it seems inhuman. But then again, human nature is a funny thing and had I too lost someone during 9/11, I might have felt the need to do the victory dance.

The second thing that surprised me was that no video or pictorial evidence of Osama bin Laden’s death was presented. To top that, his body had already been disposed off into the sea! How is that you capture the world’s most wanted man and then don’t even bother taking a picture? Perhaps the circumstances didn’t allow it, but then you get rid of the body only hours after killing him too! If we know anything about the Americans, it’s that they like putting on a show. Videos and pictures emerged almost immediately when Saddam Hussein was captured; I would have thought they’d like to show off what they hunted.

What is even more shocking is the lame and inaccurate excuse given to dispose off the body. A US official said, ‘We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition’ and other news outlets reported that the early disposal was done to keep inline with the Islamic tradition of burial within 24hrs. Another reason given was that it was done in order to prevent the grave site from becoming a shrine for extremists.

The reasoning is quite laughable. Burying at sea is generally disallowed in Islam and the norm is to bury on land, so I don’t see how they are trying to follow Islamic practices. Also, while generally the dead are to be buried as soon as possible, there isn’t a set time limit of 24 hrs that one has to adhere to. And finally, since when did the US military become so cognisant about the religious rites of dead terrorists!? They go on abusing rights of the living in prisons like Guntanomobay but when it comes to the dead body of Osama bin Laden they dispose it quickly to honour his religious rights? Something is fishy. Also, Abbottabad is a city over a thousand kilometers away from the sea, why would they go all the way out to throw him there?

This event comes right in time for the 2012 elections; Obama’s ratings no doubt will sky rocket and he will most likely return for a second term. In his address last night, Obama made sure to emphasize the personal pronoun ‘I’ as he described his heroic leadership in the capture of Bin Laden; his heroism was further reiterated by White House officials explaining how he followed and lead the raid in real time. Well played Sir.

I am no conspiracy theorist but I am just asking some very obvious questions about the mysteries of this incident. It’s still too early and perhaps more information will be revealed regarding these big questions; until then I am sure theorists will be busy working on what could possibly become the greatest conspiracy theory of all time.

I hope that Osama’s death gives some closure to the hundreds of families that lost loved ones during the dreadful attacks on 9/11. I also hope that it doesn’t result in series of revenge attacks and that it gives Western powers the impetus to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan in order to end the War of Terror. We aught not to worry that bin Laden wasn’t tried in a court, for right about now, he’s answering to God.

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