The big news today: according to family members, by the end of his life Osama bin Laden was telling his family to “Go to Europe and America and get a good education.”
What? The great Islamic umma, center of global culture and light of the world has no universities where the children of the Great Jihadi can get a decent education? The clueless, hell-bound infidels of Europe and America make the Sons of the True Faith look incompetent and backward on the vital matter of educating the young? It isn’t enough to sit on a dirt floor in Pakistan memorizing the Koran and learning how to wear a suicide bomb vest?
But what about the obligation to take up the cause of jihad and violence and crush the evil doers in the West?
Never mind about all that, Osama supposedly told his children and grandchildren. “Do not follow me down the road to jihad,” he said. “You have to study and live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done.”
All those Salafi ideologues promoting the idea of jihad against the West as a sacred obligation compulsory on all Muslims are presumably choking on their beards as they read these words. The homosexual-hangers and the adultress-stoners are having a bad morning. No doubt they will tell themselves that this story is yet another lie from the cynical west, but they will have to wrap themselves ever more tightly in the delusions and wishful thinking that blinker their thoughts — and undermine their political effectiveness.
Beside welcoming evidence, however questionable, that a terrible sinner was exploring the path of repentance however tentatively, Via Meadia gloats. Bin Laden’s path was a dead end in more ways than one; any sign that he knew how futile his bloody deeds were and that his effort to topple American power had failed is welcome.
The information, given in an interview to the London Times by a sister of one of bin Laden’s wives, raises many questions. Was bin Laden telling his own kids to avoid jihad while still trying to recruit misguided young people to the cause around the world? Or, downloading porn in Abbotabad and reflecting on the consequences of his deeds, had bin Laden come to see the futility of his course? Is the sister-in-law saying whatever she thinks will give her relatives a brighter future now that bin Laden is dead and his movement is shattered?
One doesn’t know, and perhaps we never will for sure. But it looks increasingly as if America not only killed bin Laden: we are destroying his dream.
His kids should have no trouble following his advice to study in America, by the way. Just think of the essays they will be able to write on their college applications.