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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why dies Osama bin Laden hate the USA and other Western nations?

Osama bin Laden is arguably the most cruel and dangerous terrorist. It would be interesting, then, to ask what, exactly, he is angry about, what is he fighting for.

Bin Laden, in his 1996 fatwa (declaration) entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places," identified several grievances that he has about Saudi Arabia, the birthplace and holy land of Islam. Bin Laden says these grievances about Saudi Arabia (and I quote directly from the fatwa):

“(1) The intimidation and harassment suffered by the leaders of the society, the scholars, heads of tribes, merchants, academic teachers and other eminent individuals;

(2) The situation of the law within the country and the arbitrary declaration of what is Halal and Haram (lawful and unlawful) regardless of the Shari'ah as instituted by Allah;

(3) The state of the press and the media which became a tool of truth-hiding and misinformation; the media carried out the plan of the enemy of idolising cult of certain personalities and spreading scandals among the believers to repel the people away from their religion, as Allah, the Exalted said: {surely- as for- those who love that scandal should circulate between the believers, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and in the here after} (An-Noor, 24:19).

(4) Abuse and confiscation of human rights;

(5) The financial and the economical situation of the country and the frightening future in the view of the enormous amount of debts and interest owed by the government; this is at the time when the wealth of the Ummah being wasted to satisfy personal desires of certain individuals!! while imposing more custom duties and taxes on the nation. (the prophet said about the woman who committed adultery: "She repented in such a way sufficient to bring forgiveness to a custom collector!!").

(6) The miserable situation of the social services and infra-structure especially the water service and supply , the basic requirement of life.,

(7) The state of the ill-trained and ill-prepared army and the impotence of its commander in chief despite the incredible amount of money that has been spent on the army. The gulf war clearly exposed the situation.,

(8) Shari'a law was suspended and man made law was used instead.,

(9) And as far as the foreign policy is concerned the report exposed not only how this policy has disregarded the Islamic issues and ignored the Muslims, but also how help and support were provided to the enemy against the Muslims; the cases of Gaza-Ariha and the communist in the south of Yemen are still fresh in the memory, and more can be said.”

Bin Laden wants to overthrow the Saudi monarchy (and now other Middle East governments) and establish an "Islamic state" according to Shari'a law (Islamic Hole Law), to "unite all Muslims and to establish a government which follows the rule of the Caliphs [Muslim religious leaders who once governed the Ottoman Empire]." We might add that his vision calls for an extremely strict version of Islam, but perhaps not as strict as the version being implemented in some Middle Eastern governments today. (Middle Eastern governments today are extremely repressive, have horrible human rights records, and are monarchical.)

However the US and other Western nations are supporting such regimes (in addition to killing Muslims through sanctions, wars, covert operations, bombing, and such) such as Saudi Arabia that bin Laden wants to overthrow.Thus, according to bin Laden, Muslims must fight against such "oppressors" by killing Americans (and other people), including innocent people. According to this line of thought, if the US and other Western governments could get out of the Middle East, then repressive and "un-Islamic" regimes could be overthrown, and the only way to get Western governments out of the Middle East is to attack the citizens of those countries.

This is one of the main reasons bin Ladan hates the US and other Western governments. However, the other reason is because of the Muslims that Western governments have killed. He explaned this is his 1998 fatwa.

In his 1998 fatwa entitled, Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders bin Laden identified three grievances (and I quote) against the US:

First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples. (1)

If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation. (2)

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula. (3)
Some extra notes by me:

(1) Here he is talking about US troops in Saudi Arabia (the holy land of Islam), and about the gigantic amount of oil drilled their that is sold to the US, which he considers wasteful and an exploitation of the resources.

(2) Here he is talking about the 1990-2003 UN sanctions on Iraq, which was sponsored by the US and the UK. It might be recalled that the sanctions were partly responsible for killing an estimated 1 million innoccent Iraqis, half of them being children. (Estimates go as high as 1.5 deaths , and as low as 170,000 deaths among children.) In fact Denis Halliday, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad at the time, resigned from the UN in protest of the sanctions, saying: "I don't want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide.

(3) Finally, he is talking about Israel which he says is occuping neighboring Muslim land and opressing the Palestein people.

References: (click to read)

1996 bin Laden fatwa, provided by PBS
Description of bin Laden's plans (by FAS)
Description of bin Laden's plans (by Juan Cole)
Bin Laden overthrow Saudi regeme
1998 bin Laden fatwa, provided by FAS
Iraq sanctions (1990-2003) on Wikipedia
Israel-Palestein conflict on Wikipedia


Bin Laden, then, is fighting against these greviences discussed above. Although the main stream media says that bin Laden is fighting against Western governments because of their "freedoms,"
their is absolutly no evidence of this. All the evidence (from speeeches and writings) indicate that bin Laden is fighting against Western natios because they support repressive Middle Eastern governments and kill Muslims.

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