Osama bin Laden is dead, and as with the death of Iraqi al-Qaeda terror Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, some liberals warn that winning is losing, self-defense is self-defeating, and killing our enemies is minting new “martyrs.” Because of this, we should not have killed Osama, at least not immediately. Since we did, it was our supremest wisdom that we agreed to bury him in accordance with Islamic Shari’a law – within 24 hours of death, wrapped in a white sheet and buried at sea following a complete religious funeral aboard the USS Carl Vinson. In reality Osama was already regarded as an Islamic hero by as many as will ever embrace his ideology, accepting our dhimmi status does nothing to enhance U.S. security, and giving the world’s greatest terrorist a burial in accordance with his religious beliefs will do far more to encourage his followers than killing him did. To truly discourage Islamic terrorism, the United States should desecrate the corpse of bin Laden and any terrorist leader who attacks innocent Americans in the name of Allah.
The “martyrdom” myth has its believers at the highest levels of the American Left. In 2008, candidate Obama promised he would go after Osama “in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he’s engaged in and not to make him into a martyr.” (Did the world really need a tutorial that 9/11 was bad?) Following bin Laden’s death this weekend, investment guru Dennis Gartman told CNBC, “We have now created a martyr, and as a martyr he is far more powerful than he was when he was stuck in some hole in the ground in the Hindu Kush.”
No, we have not created a martyr; we have created a corpse. Only a twisted religion could make a murderer into a defender of the faith. It is true, Islamic radicals in Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Gaza Strip, and the Philippines (so far) have called bin Laden a “martyr,” but they already shared his jihadist ideology.
I have long argued that instead of granting it a proper Muslim burial, Osama bin Laden’s body should have been embalmed with pig’s blood, then buried in a pork-lined coffin miles beneath the earth in an undisclosed location. According to Islamic tradition, the presence of pork can keep one out of Heaven, away from the 72 virgins terrorists use as a recruitment ploy. Perhaps officials should also consider following the desecration with cremation – an action at once defiling and prophetic.
The treatment of Osama bin Laden’s body, and soul, should have been determined with an eye to our security, not to win the goodwill of the Muslim world. Since George W. Bush’s policies have kept al-Qaeda on the defensive, Osama’s importance has largely been symbolic, but he is a potent symbol. Former CIA Mideast expert Paul Pillar told The Washington Post that Osama bin Laden’s role “for some time has been more as a symbol and a source of ideology than an instigator of operations. That role will continue, dead as well as alive.” That it will. According to George W. Bush, by killing bin Laden, “America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”
The lesson Islamic radicals will actually learn is that it is possible for a Muslim private citizen to inflict massive damages upon the Great Satan, cause at least one deep recession, stalemate the world’s only superpower in a war for nine years (and counting), franchise his terrorist organization at a pace to rival a fast food chain, live in an ethereal mansion nestled amidst the elite of an Islamic nuclear state, die a glorious death, and be hailed as martyr and exemplar for radicals around the world.
The message that should be sent by Osama bin Laden’s death is: Anyone who perpetrates terrorism against the United States will be massacred, desecrated, and condemned. Any terrorist who raises his hand against our nation will die a painful death and be given such a burial that, according to his own religion, he will be confined to hellfire for all of eternity.
Some object this treatment would inflame the Islamic world against us, but no true Muslim should object to this treatment. The same people insist all true Muslims violently oppose Osama bin Laden, that terrorism is the antithesis of the Muslim religion, and “Islam means peace.” Obama asserted in his announcement-cum-campaign-speech, “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims…So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” If the Muslim street should welcome his demise, they should much more embrace his excommunication. If violent jihad against the West is as much an aberration as the PC crowd lets on, Islam should be overjoyed that he is being permanently separated from its ranks. If Muslims are not elated, that would prove instructive. If any imam issues guidelines that a Muslim who dies in jihad receives Paradise regardless of such a burial, the DHS should have a new person of interest and – as Mitt Romney suggested – should wiretap their mosques.
The United States must do what is best for our well-being. Let the word go forth that Ayman al-Zawahiri, any future al-Qaeda leader, and any significant terrorist leader will receive this treatment. Foot soldiers of the jihad will, too – in a random fashion of our choosing.
Furthermore, U.S. military command should announce that, while we take heroic measures to minimize “collateral damage,” it is impossible to completely eliminate innocent deaths. Thus, civilians who shelter terrorists may end up receiving the same treatment. (In practice, it would be wise to stick to high-level leaders. Fear, intimidation, and rumor will do the rest.)
This would be more beneficial than our misguided policy of trying to appease the irreconcilable, who became incensed despite our gracious actions. Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque, said today any burial at sea “runs contrary to the principles of Islamic laws, religious values, and humanitarian customs.” One of the most outspoken anti-terrorist Muslims, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, has said, “Dumping the body into the sea is not part of any Islamic ritual.” However, the website Al Islam provides rules for a sea burial. It seems our attempts to curry favor with Islam are hopeless.
Instead, we should openly defy the religious beliefs of the terrorists as a means of discouraging future jihad. It was their demonic views on religion that got us into this war. Perhaps they can get us out of it.