Arab World: Where Some Are Mourning Osama Bin Laden

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

A tweet in Arabic saying that a million Bin Ladens will now rise

A tweet in Arabic saying that a million Bin Ladens will now rise

The end of Al Qaeda's Saudi leader Osama Bin Laden was met with tributes and remembrance by many users on Twitter from across the Arab world. Here is a sample of tweets from users in Bahrain and Kuwait, who say that Bin Laden may have died but his ideology will live on.

These reactions express the views of the people I quote and are not representative of the entire Arab world, where views cover a wide spectrum, from joy to disbelief.

Kuwaiti Mubarak Al Bathaali tweets [ar]:

ان كان توفاه الله ففي أمة محمد ألف أسامه وان دين الاسلام لا يتوقف لأجل رجل إنما هذه الامة يتوارثها الابطال على مر السنين منذ عهد رسول الله
If he had died, then (Prophet) Muhammad's Ummah (Islamic community) has another 1,000 Osamas. The Islamic religion will not stop with one man. This is an ummah which has been inherited by heroes over generations, from the times of the Prophet.

Still in Kuwait, Dr Sajed Al Abadli adds [ar]:

أسامه بن لادن ليس شخصا.. أسامه بن لادن فكرة.. مات الشخص.. هل ماتت الفكرة؟
Osama bin Laden is not a person. Osama bin Laden is an ideology. A person has died… did the ideology die too?

And Nabil Al Awadhy adds [ar]:

قد نختلف مع بعض أفكار ابن لادن لكن أسأل الله أن يغفر له ويرحمه ويتقبله في الشهداء أما الجهاد الشرعي فهو ماض إلى يوم الدين
We may differ with some of Bin Laden's ideas but I ask Allah to forgive him and have mercy on his soul and welcome him as a martyr. As for the legitimate Jihad (war), it will continue until the Day of Judgement.

Moving on to Bahrain, Fatima Buhassan notes [ar]:

ربما سقط بن لادن لكنه رفع الملايين ممن زرع فيهم روح الجهاد ليصبح هناك مليون بن لادن في هذا العالم ليسقط أمثال أوباما
Bin Laden may have died but he has created millions, whom he gave the spirit of Jihad (Islamic holy war) to create a million Bin Laden's in this world, who are able to overthrow the likes of Obama

Fellow Bahraini Mubarak Mattar adds [ar]:

مع اختلافنا مع القاعدة إلاأننا نفخربموت رجل مسلم استطاع أن يهز العالم في وقت لم تستطع كل الجيوش العربية ذلك #OBL
With all our differences with Al Qaeda, we are proud of the death of a Muslim man who was able to shake the world at a time all the Arab armies united couldn't do that

and he continues [ar]:

رحمة الله عليك يا اسامة .. لن افرح لمقتلك .. أنت الوحيد الذي قلت لا في زمن قالت العرب نعم ! #Osama #Binladen
May Allah have mercy on you Osama. I wasn't happy for your death .. you are the only one who said “No” in an era where the Arabs said “Yes.”

Still in Bahrain, Dr Adel Abdulla notes [ar]:

ابن لادن ليس شخصا بل ظاهرة، وقتله سيفرخ منه آلافا، وأمريكا تستقطب عداوة البشرية بامتياز، وموت الشخص لا يميت الفكرة والأيديولوجيا
Bin Laden is not a human being but a phenomena. His death may make thousands happy and the US attracts the hate of humanity with excellence. The death of one person does not kill the idea or the ideology
Screen shot of the We are all Osama bin Laden page on Facebook

Screen shot of the 'We are all Osama bin Laden' page on Facebook.

Meanwhile on Facebook, pages of support like We are all Osama bin Laden have popped up.

Stay tuned for more reactions on this story from across the Middle East and North Africa.

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.


  • CatsinBags

    Is it really fair to title this “Arab World: Mourning Osama bin Laden”? You quote one women on twitter — British educated and a marketing executive for a car company with 274 followers — who also appears completely unhinged — is she really representative of the “Arab World.”?

  • Thanks CatsinBags: I have 100s of reactions of people distraught over the loss of Bin Laden from across the Arab world but only quote six different people in this post because of my time constraints. More posts dealing with different aspects of this story coming up soon. Stay tuned!

    • DanHass1

      I have to say that some of the posts have offended me, at first but then I took a step back to see the intent of this, and it hit me that an exchange of views is exactly why you wrote this. In my view, Bin Laden was a monster and his actions heinous, but then my country isn’t exactly Emily Post either. This Arab Spring has opened my eyes enormously, as have your posts on twitter which I already follow. I wish for a world where these types of events are only a distant memory, but it has to start at home, with parents teaching children not to hate, with a firm commitment to peace and tolerance and understanding.

  • CatsinBags

    Great…Thanks. I don’t doubt people feel this way…But it seems a bit premature to run the headline “Arab World: Mourning Osama bin Laden.” The bulk of messages I’ve followed on twitter (albeit in English) have been more in line with “glad that’s over with, onwards.”

  • […] via Global Voices, not everyone is rejoicing that Osama was killed. In the Arab world, some are mourning him and even see him as a martyr or hero. Tags: humor, news articles, politics and current affairs, war on terror LikeBe the […]

  • Thanks CatsinBags.
    Today was actually one of the days where I was hoping I didn’t read or understand any Arabic. Yes, that fanatic and over-zealous! I am glad you have been shielded from much of the Arabic commentary on this matter. Some of them were just too vile and sick – and no, I will not translate them ;)
    Also, changed the headline: makes it more wordy and doesn’t really change the fact that many many people across the Arab world were distraught over the killing of OBL.
    I don’t have a head count, I’m afraid.

  • Ozdemir Sanli

    And what did you expect? That they will thank the U.S.? After all the destructions and the wars against Arab people? How many millions of people have they killd in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, and now they continue to kill in Libya. Put Americans in Arabs’ shoes what if they invaded the U.S. and destroyed their country. They are full up to americans, and for them any action against the United States receives an approving reaction.

  • @CatsinBags

    Global Voices is a place where you find reactions from regions you won’t have access to, one of the reasons why is the language barrier. So it is more of bringing online conversations between people who mourn OBL (who are majorly Arabic-only-speaking people whom you won’t find since you obviously don’t know Arabic, and those Arabs who do not morning OBL who obviously majorly speak in English which you obviously understand.

    • Alicia Butler

      I agree. I can find plenty of examples in the U.S. news media of people speaking out in favor of the action, but one reason for reading Global Voices is to hear from other people with other perspectives, to understand what they feel and think and why.

  • […] Twitter, reactions flowed all day, with some cheering his death and others mourning the demise of the Al Qaeda's 54-year-old head, whom they called a […]

  • Osama bin Laden executed a spectacular act of terrorism on American soil, killing 3000 civilians in one fateful day.

    He may be a villain, whether by Western or Eastern standards, but he was never a mystery. There is no mystery to the hate, to the desire to strike fear into the hearts of an overpowering, ruthless and nefariously scheming enemy.

    There are those who will say that USA, Europe and the West, is nothing like that. One can only shrug at such ignorance. History will not only say it – history already says it. Even the history of the Middle East is the story of a hundred violations, ranging back to long before 9-11, long before the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Before the US embassy kidnapping in 1979 USA overthrew the first democratically elected government of Iran and installed the Shah, in an attempt to break OPEC. Mossadeqh, another of the chairmen and founders of OPEC, was assasinated for the same reason – CIA armed and installed the Baath Party in Iraq, setting up Saddam Hussein as a buffer to Iran.

    USA fuelled the devastating war between the two countries, like the have overthrown or attempted to overthrow hundreds of legitimate countries all over the world, for less than the noble reason of furthering democracy.

    The war on terror will go on. But the war on imperialism will continue too. There will be new warlords rising out of the desert sand, new mirages to chase or not to chase, to assassinate or not to assassinate, depending on what is considered expedient or convenient at any given time.

    The best one can hope for is that the next one will be less like Osama bin Laden and more like Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub. If that should happen, even Westerners might begin to question their own moral superiority and actually learn something, actually become civilized… again.

    From “Will the War of a Thousand Cuts Live On?” at Geopolitical Dynamics.

    Read more:

  • […] Twitter, las reacciones fluyeron durante todo el día, algunos celebrando su muerte y otros lamentando [2] [ing] el fallecimiento del líder de 54 años de Al Qaeda, a quién llamaron […]

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