The situation that the majority of Muslims faced after the killing of Al-Queda founder and its leader Osama Bin Laden on May 2 by the US Navy SEALs in Pakistani was very much similar to that faced by the Tamils after LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by the Sri Lankan forces on May 18, 2009 on the banks of Nandikadal in Mullaitivu District.
This was more so when the dilemma faced by the Muslims who live as minorities in their countries is considered. However, some Muslims who respect Osama as a freedom fighter might not like one to compare him with Prabhakaran as they treat the latter as a “terrorist” and those who venerate Prabhakaran too might feel the same with the comparison for a similar reason.
Majority of Tamils, here and abroad, were of the view that Prabhakaran was fighting for the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka, as he claimed or they wanted him to do so. Some Tamils might have had reasons to follow that line of thinking as they believed, for reasons, real or imaginary, that Sinhalese leaders have been discriminating against their community.
In fact, there had been communal attacks against Tamils in the past, such as the ones in 1958, 1961, 1977, 1981’s and the one in 1983 which drew the world’s attention and commonly known as the Black July, apart from the political and social demands put forward by Tamil leaders. Thus, Tamils justified Prabhakaran’s armed struggle, in spite of the fact that all three communities in Sri Lanka, Sinhalese, Tamils and the Muslims had experienced several horrendous physical attacks against their lot, by the time Prabhakaran was killed.
Whether they want to see a separate Tamil State or not, majority of Tamils did not want to see the Tamil LTTE to be defeated by a government led by Sinhalese due to their instinctive urge. At the same time they did not prefer to be identified with the LTTE or terrorism, especially in the light of the celebrations or the “triumphalism of the Sinhalese. Also they too breathed a sigh of relief when the war came to a halt irrespective of Prabhakaran’s death.
The situation that the Muslims face today is exactly the same. They have a plethora of reasons, real or imaginary, to believe that the US is against their faith and those follow it. Top of them is the creation and sustaining of Israel, in the heart of the prime Muslim region in the world, in a manner that threatens the security of Muslim States in the region. This hurt the Muslims.
Muslims in all countries were highly offended when their third holiest place, Baithul Muqaddas or Al Aqsa in Jerusalem came under Israel rule and the Israeli regime started excavations around it. Hundreds of resolutions that condemned Israel’s atrocities in Palestine and particularly in Jerusalem were vetoed by the US in the UN General Assembly as well as the Security Council.
The whole world knew that the real reason behind the military adventures of the Western States including the US and the UK in Muslim countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya had been nothing other than the greed over oil and other strategic needs of the West and the stories about WMD and Super Guns have been proven to be a utter fraud. Hence, it is natural for Osama to become a hero at least for a section of Muslims in the world, because he challenged the world leaders who offended the Muslim feelings.
The Western leaders and the Western media use terms such as “Islamic terrorism” when identifying the activities of Muslim insurgent groups in various countries. These people in the so-called developed nations simply can not realize that these terms offend all Muslims in the world.
On May 3 Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, commenting on the killing of Osama said that “Americans had earlier in the past decade bombarded the region ruthlessly, killing lots of innocent ordinary people, whose number is roughly 110,000 in various military operations.” Hence, the Muslims were inwardly joyous when Osama struck. However, they did not want to be identified as terrorists or espousers of terrorism either.
In Sri Lanka, Sinhalese leaders were in a hurry to praise the US troops for killing Osama for various strategic reasons. They wanted to be identified with the US leaders at a time when the latter boast to have given the world’s terrorism a death blow. It would be easier for them to bring forth counter arguments against the UN Secretary General’s Panel report which accused the Sri Lankan leaders of war crimes.
Being among those Sinhalese it is further difficult for the Muslims to publicly express solidarity to Osama. However, Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana did it. A group of Northern Province Muslims too have done it.