Sons of Monsters

I was reading an article from Reuters today which made me both a little angry and a little sad. Here are a couple quick blurbs from the piece:

A statement purporting to come from a son of Osama bin Laden denounced the al Qaeda leader’s killing as “criminal” and said his burial at sea had humiliated the family, an online monitoring service said.

The statement, attributed to Omar bin Laden, bin Laden’s fourth eldest son, said the al Qaeda chief’s children reserved the right to take legal action in the United States and internationally to “determine the true fate of our vanished father,” the SITE Intelligence Group said.


The letter said, in part: “We hold the American President (Barack) Obama legally responsible to clarify the fate of our father, Osama bin Laden, for it is unacceptable, humanely and religiously, to dispose of a person with such importance and status among his people, by throwing his body into the sea in that way, which demeans and humiliates his family and his supporters and which challenges religious provisions and feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims.”

Now, I would certainly be upset about the loss of my father if I were Omar bin Laden. But to point fingers and call his killing “criminal”? This is just supremely ironic to me.

No, I’m not willing to celebrate the death of a fellow human being, and yes, I feel for his family, but to say that disposing of a person who is important to others as being humanely and religiously unacceptable seems a bit (actually, a lot) like the pot calling the kettle black.

Initially, I was surprised by the statements made by the bin Laden son. After all, has he forgotten about the countless number of people his father was responsible for disposing of in a “humanely and religiously unacceptable” fashion?

But, as always, I had to zoom the camera lens out a bit. Omar bin Laden is not his father (I hope). He has just lost the man who gave him life, even if the same man took the lives of thousands of others.

Are the sons of monsters also monsters? This man, who worships the same God as Christians, Jews and Muslims in America is mourning. He is angry. Upset. Betrayed. Conflicted.

As indicated in his book, Growing up Bin Laden, he had an unhappy childhood; was beaten regularly, had pets killed in chemical experiments by his father’s fighters, and was exposed to dangerous situations in training camps and the Afghan civil war.

Sounds pretty awful to me. I don’t envy anybody involved in the family and the fallout from Osama’s death.

Are the sons of monsters also monsters?

Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.
– T. S. Eliot

Stay safe, and be good to each other.


11 thoughts on “Sons of Monsters

  1. I’ve been thinking about this too. Apparently Omar and others of Osama’s sons have rejected and denounced their father’s murderous terrorism. As far as I know, there is no information to paint the bin Laden kids as monsters themselves, in fact they supposedly made a much more conscious decision to reject evil than we ever have had to.

    Our invasion of Pakistan to assassinate bin Laden was illegal; if Pakistan were a peer nation (able to deal with us as equals) it would have been an act of war. Now that we know Obama sent the SEALs in armed and ordered to fight their way out through the Pakistani Army if necessary it seems breathtakingly bold bordering on insane (Pakistan has nukes and an instable government). Now, it worked and we got him so dehydrate the details. But I do see where Omar is coming from.

    1. True. I can’t imagine trying to be in the public eye when your own father has committed such atrocities and has been forced into hiding. What a horrible experience.

      1. Now, Saddam’s sons and apparently Qaddafi’s sons took/take after their fathers and needed/need to be hunted down.

        1. The difference may be that OBL apparently told his kids that he expected them to become suicide bombers.

  2. Your T.S. Eliot quote reminds me of the Great Law of the Iroquois. “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.”

  3. You say: “This man, who worships the same God as Christians, Jews and Muslims in America is mourning.” Go ahead and ask him (or most any Muslim or Jew or Hindu or Buddhist) if he (they) are worshiping the same God as you. The answer would be a resounding “no”! Liberal/progressive Americans can make claims like this, but it is not the view of the rest of the world…and it is not the view of the Bible. We, as Christian, know God through the person of Jesus. Jesus is an essential and equal part of the triune God. So, when another religion downplays, eliminates, or refuses to affirm the divinity of Jesus, they are most certainly not worshiping the same God as Christians.

    1. Thank you, OkkervilRiver. The next time a missionary tries to convince me that Christianity is Judaism+ I will tell him exactly that; we don’t even worship the same God!

    2. In the Christian view, Jesus is merely a part of who God is. The larger God; the creator God… is the same God. I’ve confirmed this with scholars in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim world– our interpretations sometimes vary, but the God we worship is fundamentally the same.

    3. Furthermore, I never said anything about Hinduism or Buddhism. I’m referring to the big three monotheistic religions.

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