Yesterday we got the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. Honestly, I have some really mixed feelings on the issue.
On one hand I want to truly believe he is gone but on the other hand the American government has consistently abused the American peoples' trust. How long can we be deceived before we stop believing the government altogether? My patience is running thin with all of the propaganda and lack of ethics under the guise of doing what is best for the people. But I digress on this point. In this case, I am choosing to believe the news reports.
As far as the ramifications, if he is truly dead it may demoralize the extremists who keep abusing the name of Allah and Muhammad for their own self gain but on the other hand it may make things worse for our soldiers and civilians alike. I hope for the former rather than the latter. However, I worry for the good men and women serving in foreign countries. It breaks my heart whenever one of them joins those who give it all in service of their homeland. I also worry for the innocent civilians in those countries where the conflict is at. People who are doing their best to live their lives and raise their families. They may have different colored skin and hair. They may have a different god. They may not live the same lifestyle but we are all humans with the same thoughts and feelings.
As a Gold Star family member of a soldier killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom, my heart feels like a weight has been lifted from my off my heart. My brother, as well as all of those who lost their lives or injured due to this man's choices have had a sort of justice. But at the same time, how many more will still be injured or killed because of the hatred one man stirred in others on both sides? Will this man's legacy be more violence and hate? Will the conflicts continue without him here as role model?
If I could have one wish, it would be that people would have the ability to understand the perspective of others and learn to not necessarily embrace but, at the very least, come to an acceptance that we are all different and that those differences do not equate to bad. Time will only tell and we must tread very carefully if we are to begin healing the rift between East and West.
I leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the Prophet Muhammad.
"Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another."
"Shall I not inform you of a better act than fasting, alms, and prayers? Making peace between one another: enmity and malice tear up heavenly rewards by the roots."
"If a man finds himself with bread in both hands, he should exchange one loaf for some flowers of the narcissus, because the loaf feeds the body, but the the flowers feed the soul."
Photo was from last years post, Mellow Yellow Blossoms.