Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman: “OBL is just like Ned Kelly to Muslim yoots in Sydney”
Osama a ‘folk hero’ and ‘resistance fighter’ to some supporters in Sydney
FOR most of the world he was a symbol of death and evil â€” a mad man who was dedicated to killing innocents.
But, for some Muslims, dead arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden is a “folk hero” similar to Australia’s Ned Kelly.
Hardline Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia’s spokesman, Uthman Badar, said the group rejected democracy, seeking to establish a trans-national Islamic caliphate state, and viewed bin Laden as a “resistance fighter” with huge sympathy among Muslims.
“The type of figure Muslims see Osama bin Laden as is similar to Ned Kelly,” Mr Badar told The Sunday Telegraph.
“The person does things that would otherwise be viewed as crimes, but he is seen as a folk hero.
“Most Muslims accept him as someone who fought a resistance … the real terrorists are the Western governments. When we say the Western governments are terrorists we include the Australian Government in that.”
It was a view echoed at Auburn’s Bukhari House Islamic Bookstore, where Wassim Fayad, a volunteer working at the shop, all but praised the dead terrorist.
“For the sake of Allah, our brother died a martyr,” Mr Fayad said.
“He was a soldier of God. He did not fight for the sake of his government or for another human being.
“Quote me on this: if he died, he died a martyr and he is now in paradise.”
The Bukhari bookshop has drawn attention from authorities before, when it was recently revealed the radical Islamic cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed â€” who has previously urged children to die for their religion â€” was conducting sermons for youths at the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah centre, which operates out of one of the bookshop’s back rooms.
“No comment regarding Osama bin Laden, but it is sad for anyone to die in the Muslim world,” a spokesman said.
In contrast to those supporting bin Laden, influential Sydney imam Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud did not speak of bin Laden during his half-hour sermon at Belmore mosque at noon on Friday.
According to an independent translator, he told a congregation of 150 people â€” mainly men and children â€” to keep the faith alive at a time when enemies were trying to undermine Islam.
Many Muslims also revelled in the chance to publicly reject bin Laden. At a Lebanese bakery, Australian-born Ahmed Ajaj said of bin Laden: “Nowhere in Islam is what he did acceptable,” but he added his crimes “did not compare” to those of the US and UK.
For Sam Zaky, who came to Australia from Iraq two and a half years ago, the death of bin Laden was welcome news.
He knew first hand just what bin Laden stood for, having seen friends killed by al-Qaeda car bombs while they walked to university in Baghdad.
“I know many who were killed for nothing,” he said.
He said he was disturbed by the number of “ignorant” Australians who had come into the shop he works in and declared bin Laden their “hero.”
The first person charged under Australia’s terror laws, taxi driver Jack Thomas, said he was pleased the man he once met in the hills of Afghanistan was dead.
In March 2001, five months before the September 11 attacks on the US, Mr Thomas shook bin Laden’s hand. But the man dubbed “Jihad Jack” said he knew young and impressionable people in Australia who were being bred into extremism.
“No doubt there are angry young Muslim men in Australia that have been misled by Osama bin Laden,” he said.
I dare-say that there are hundred times more who see him as a great Muslim leader….. funny that the reporter never asked Jihad Jack in which way these Â “angry young Muslim men” (are there any other ones?) have been misled by OBL.
- Bin Laden video praises uprisingsThe Daily Telegraph,Â 19 May 2011
- Bin Laden speaks from beyond the grave The Australian,Â 19 May 2011
- Not everyone is celebrating bin Laden’s demise Perth Now,Â 8 May 2011
- Bin Laden’s death: The fallout The Daily Telegraph,Â 5 May 2011
- Muslim opinion mixed ov