Osama Bin Laden’s death is a moment of choice for Islam.
Years ago, I had a heated debate with a (very) Republican friend. I contended that Al Qaeda was in a battle for the hearts and minds of mainstream Islam. And that the U.S. was a pawn of sorts. We represent what Islamic fundamentalists oppose; secularism, capitalism, democracy, gender equality. And moderate Muslims’ empathy toward U.S. culture is what those fundamentalists wanted to prevent.
Today’s event is another decision point for Islam: will Bin Laden become a martyr to others than the extremists? Or will moderate, mainstream Islam close this chapter of history by turning its back on terrorists?
Choosing to oppose terrorism is not unto itself an endorsement of the U.S. It’s simply a statement of what Islam does not stand for. And the lack of support for terrorists means that their safe havens will wither and die.
Your move, Islam.