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The death of Osama Bin Laden
By Ray Hanania — As America celebrates the killing of our number one enemy, Osama Bin Laden, we should remind ourselves that we are not like the terrorists. What does that mean? It means that we shouldn’t do what the terrorists do. We shouldn’t kill children and innocent civilians in the name of “justice.”
Bin Laden claimed he attacked America to achieve justice for the Muslim World, though he was never a spokesman for the Muslim World.
Too many Americans on social media like Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are using the Bin Laden killing as an excuse to vent their racist hatred of Muslims and Arabs.
Instead of showing how better we are than the enemy, some of our people are showing that they are no different. Bin Laden’s hatred was racist and vicious. The same kind of hatred we saw in the face of Terry Jones, the obscure pastor from Gainesville, Florida who has vowed to burn a copy of a religious Holy Book, the Quran in order to provoke Muslims and hurl insults at their community.
Yet while Terry Jones received enormous coverage, the great things that American Arabs and Muslims do in this country goes unnoticed. The mainstream news media is biased and sometimes racist foundations for the viciousness that passes as celebration.
No wonder Americans are so uneducated about the Middle East. It took us almost 10 years to kill Bin Laden. Former President George W. Bush failed after starting two wars, in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Americans know so little about the Arab World, the Islamic World and the Middle East, yet that lack of knowledge has become the foundation of our foreign policy decisions.
Decisions that sometimes do not succeed.
We’re stuck in an ongoing war in Afghanistan. We have not won that war despite Bin Laden’s killing. We are stuck in a war in Iraq, one that we should never have started. But we can’t leave there either.
None of these actions have made America safer. It has only delayed the violence that surely will come and that we must remain prepared to confront.
But we would be a stronger and better country if instead of celebrating a military victory by chanting hatred and viciousness against Muslims and Arabs in America – Muslims and Arabs who have served proudly and patriotically in the U.S. Military – instead tried to educate our children so they will be better educated and can understand how to confront the challenges we face more successfully than we have.
When it takes 10 years to bring justice to a murderer like Bin Laden, it says something about our failures in foreign policy. So many people around the world view us the same way we view al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that Bin Laden created. They see us as the terrorists, when we strike out at Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and then result in the killing of his son and his grand children.
Yes, children were killed. Children that we claim to be protecting from terrorism.
Or, are we only protecting ourselves but claiming that we are the leaders of the free world?
It was a mistake to toss Bin Laden’s body into the ocean without providing absolute visual verification of Bin laden’s death. His life will become a standard for millions of others in this world who will try to attack us the way we did. Unless, we can change how we view others.
We must respect all life. We should never celebrate in anyone’s death. We should champion civil rights and respond to terrorism not like terrorists but rather as the highly civilized people we insist we are.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning column and media consultant. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.)
This post has already been read 75 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
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