The Middle East of America

So they finally got their man. The death of Osama bin Laden swept the Royal Wedding out of the newspapers without a trace. It’s as if the Royal wedding never happened or at best it now seems like a distant memory.

It was an interesting contrast: the wedding of the 21st century representing something new and fresh, a beautiful young couple brought together by love and the promise of new life in the form of children; on the other hand the ugly and brutal death of America’s ‘public enemy No.1’

And all this over the course of a few days.

On the death of bin Laden, aside from the questions of legality and whether ‘justice was done’, both of which will be debated for the next decade, there was one aspect of the whole thing which I personally felt uneasy about: the euphoria and sense of moral rectitude with which the Americans celebrated the news.

Was this more about vengeance than justice?

The images of people gathering outside the White House in the middle of the night to celebrate a death is hardly the act of a society which prides itself on its Christian moral foundation.

I am certainly no Christian scholar but I seem to recall the principle of an ‘eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ as belonging to the Old Testament. If fact Jesus denounced the whole idea of an eye for an eye, and instead asked that ‘we love our enemies and do good to those that hate us.’

Now, that may be stretching the friendship a bit in the case of Osama, but at the same time I don’t think Jesus would have approved of the blood lust displayed by the Americans. The images on the TV reminded me of the riots and uprisings we’ve seen in the middle east lately; driven by hysteria and hatred.

Osama bin Laden deserved his fate, no doubt, but for President Barack Obama to declare that the world is now a safer place as a result, is somewhat premature, me thinks. Wasn’t it George W Bush who said, “God is on our side” after 9/11? Isn’t that what Muslims say as well, only they call him Allah?

We are not really so different after all, given the same set of circumstances, are we?

I’m interested in your thoughts so have your say….

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