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Walter Rodgers

Osama bin Laden: a fraud and a failure

Even before Osama bin Laden's death, Muslims were rejecting his vile message.

By Walter Rodgers / May 5, 2011



Osama bin Laden has been many things to many people: evildoer, terrorist, holy man, and messenger of Allah. Now, in his death, we can add two more labels: fraud and failure.

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He is a fraud because, for all his invective against the decadent West, he lived in a supersized mansion. And for all his hateful sermons against the “infidels,” the Al Qaeda network he helped lead for nearly two decades has killed far more Muslims than non-Muslims. “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader,” President Obama noted. “He was a mass murderer of Muslims.”

And he’s a failure, because even before his death, Muslims around the world were losing confidence in him and turning away from his vision of an Islamic caliphate. In Jordan, for example, his support fell from 56 percent in 2003 to just 13 percent today, according to The Pew Research Center.

He was a demented mass murderer who embraced evil and called it good. His fawning followers called him “Sheikh Osama,” sheikh being an Islamic term of religious respect. Yet in his interpretation of the Quran, he always seemed to err on the side of medieval barbarity, bloodshed, and killing, at which he was quite accomplished.

No Saladin

He inspired his followers to kill in a fashion that would have been shameful to more right­eous Muslims, like the 12th-century Muslim warrior Saladin, who better understood the prophet Muhammad’s teachings on mercy, an idea Mr. bin Laden never seemed to grasp.

He inspired the murders of thousands of innocent Christians, Jews, and others. Yet the infidel body count pales in comparison to the number of casualties Al Qaeda inflicted on fellow Muslims – whom bin Laden declared to be either heretics or justifiable collateral damage. In fact, a 2009 study showed that Al Qaeda had killed eight times more Muslims than non-Muslims.

Sunni tradition holds that when a man dies, a pair of angels greets him and asks the newly deceased whether he has been a good Muslim. Bound to answer truthfully, bin Laden must say, “Well, I was responsible for the deaths of more innocent Muslims than Christian infidels.”

“Poof!” That’s what my Muslim friends tell me comes next. The wicked ones are vaporized into dust, with no hope of salvation.

Well before 9/11, much of the Arab world already grasped the bankruptcy of Al Qaeda’s doctrine of malevolence. This is a fact more Americans should appreciate.

But perhaps most important, Arabs grew to realize that bin Laden was just another loser like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

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