Arab world sees bin Laden death as step towards eliminating terrorism

By Dialogo
May 04, 2011



RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, BAGHDAD, Iraq and BEIRUT, Lebanon – Analysts and politicians in the Arab world said Osama bin Laden's death will curtail al-Qaeda’s recruitment and operations in the near future as young adults will be less likely to join the organization's ranks.
“News of the killing of the al-Qaeda leader will provide reassurance to the whole world, and we hope al-Qaeda members will be tracked down and the terrorist cells that influence deviant thought will be dismantled,” Yahya al-Amir, a Saudi political analyst and columnist, told Al-Shorfa.
Al-Amir asserted that this thought is the real reason for the formation of such organizations, which do not need a central administration and merely view bin Laden as a symbol.
“Bin Laden, as a current reality, has no value in shaping all the events,” he added. “The death of a demonstrator in Daraa or Sanaa may be, in our current circumstances, far more important.”
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) reiterated in a press statement on May 2 its condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations. The statement said terrorism contradicts the teachings of Islam and stressed that individuals responsible for terrorist crimes must be brought to justice.
A Saudi government official told the Saudi News Agency that the kingdom hopes that “elimination of the leader of the terrorist al-Qaeda organization is a step towards supporting international efforts aimed at combating terrorism, dismantling its cells and wiping out the deviant thought behind it. The people in the kingdom are among those affected by this terrorist organization and its crimes because it is responsible for taking innocent lives, terrorising peaceful people and undermining the security of society.”
Iraqi officials welcome news of Osama bin Laden's death
Official government spokesperson and state minister Ali al-Dabbagh called Bin Laden's death “a major victory in the global war on terror.”
“The end of this man will put an end to many terrorist acts in the world and will have a direct impact on Iraq, as it will demoralize al-Qaeda members in Iraq,” he told Mawtani.com. “He has received his worldly punishment for spilling the blood of thousands of people around the world.”
Al-Dabbagh called on the remaining members of al-Qaeda in Iraq to turn themselves in to Iraqi security forces and let go of their terrorist ideology.
“Today, those who embrace the ideology of exclusion, violence and extremism will know that the forces of good and peace will necessarily prevail and win no matter how long it takes,” he said.
Haidar al-Mulla, spokesperson for al-Iraqiyah bloc in parliament, described Bin Laden's killing as "the fall of the fortress of terrorism in the world".
“The killing of Bin Laden represents the beginning of the end for terrorist organizations in the world,” al-Mulla told Mawtani. “This is extremely important for the security of Iraq because killing the head of al-Qaeda will eventually lead to the disappearance of al-Qaeda's force in Iraq and in the region.”
Egyptian analyst: sympathetic Islamist movements could abandon violence
Bin Laden's death will open the door to Islamist movements sympathetic with al-Qaeda to support initiatives that reject violence, political analyst and expert in Islamist groups Ammar Ali Hassan told Al-Shorfa. Hassan cited similar positions adopted by the Islamic Group and the Islamic Jihad, who abandoned the path of al-Qaeda.
“The failure of al-Qaeda and the Taliban model, and that of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the success of the Arab revolutions in Egypt and Tunis, persuaded many that peaceful struggles are the only way to change Arab autocratic regimes and not carrying weapons and killing civilians,” he said.
Kuwaiti analyst: bin Laden’s death great victory
Shamlan al-Issa, a political scientist at the University of Kuwait, described the death of bin Laden as a “great victory for democratic countries.”
“Terrorism weakened significantly in the recent period because of revolutions across the Arab world which were [pursued in the name of] freedom, not religion, and this weakened the role of extremist religious groups around the world,” he said.
He stressed that bin Laden's death would add to this weakness, even in Kuwait, because the number of young people choosing to join extremist religious groups would drop off considerably because of their sense of their futility. He predicted al-Qaeda's core leadership would split into many al-Qaedas and thus would not return to the centralised organization of al-Qaeda hereafter.
Shafeeq al-Ghabra, a writer, political analyst and doctor of political science at Kuwait University, said bin Laden's death is a moral blow to al-Qaeda.
“It seems to me that al-Qaeda is now caught between two situations it will not be able to overcome easily,” he said. “The first, its thinking to continue the confrontation with the United States and complete the path bin Laden was on, and the second, the Arab revolutions spread throughout a large number of Middle East countries, which provide an entirely different model from the policy of this organization in their orientation of non-violence, which they started and proceeded with from the outset.”
Al-Ghabra does not believe Arab states will experience a direct impact, saying, “The killing of bin Laden does not affect policies in the Middle East because the current change and the loudest voice comes from the peoples' revolutions and their desire for freedom and democracy.”
“The killing of bin Laden will add nothing new, except that it will be the cause for further disintegration of al-Qaeda, through the desire of leaders under Osama to control the organization, which will create various conflicts between them, leading to the end and the dismantling of this organization in the next stage,” he added.
Jordan Islamist at odds with bin Laden
In Jordan, Jamil Abu Bakr, the spokesman for the Islamic Action Front, stressed that the Islamist movement is at odds with Osama bin Laden over the correct course of action.
“This man held fast to attempting to liberate the Islamic world from foreign influence, but this had not been approved by the Islamic movement,” Abu Bakr told Al-Shorfa.
Nidal al-Omr, a political science researcher, said public opinion over the killing of bin Laden will be influenced by the “memory of the Jordanians during the Amman bombings, which targeted a number of hotels in the Jordanian capital on November 9th, 2005, and claimed the lives of a number of Jordanians as well as created a record of bad relations between Jordan and al-Qaeda.”
Saad Hariri: bin Laden deserved his fate
Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Bin Laden deserves his fate because it is the destiny of murderers and villains, adding that he hurt the image of Islam and Arab causes and that Arab and Islamic history would not forgive him.
Hariri said bin Laden is “a black mark on this history, enlisted to corrupt the minds of thousands of young people with a culture of murder, terrorism, sabotage and destruction, and which put Islam, as a religion of justice and tolerance ... in adversarial situations with other civilizations, religions and other cultures.”
“Bin Laden and his followers not only harmed the United States and other Western countries but also made Islam a Trojan horse to sow evil and division in the countries of Muslims and Arabs,” he added.
He said the fight against all forms of terrorism is an ongoing responsibility, “which should primarily be the responsibility of Arabs and Muslims, who have a duty to liberate Islam from its captors.”
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