Osama Bin Laden as a Middle Eastern Hero

Osama Bin Laden as a Middle Eastern Hero

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Representation and Construction of Heroes

Heroes are often described as a person who against the opposing forces fights for their rights and freedoms. Osama bin Laden is the pin up boy for terrorism. The monster and the mastermind, But is he really the villain western media makes him out to be?

Osama bin Laden, to millions, with his face regularly plastered on television and across the magazine covers and front pages of newspapers, is immediately associated with evil. To most he is guilty of mass murder, although he hasn't been found or tried, and there has been no publicly released evidence connecting him with the said crimes.
He is beloved by millions for his holy war against America and by those of the Islamic world who also hold a strong hatred towards America for what in their society is regarded as a debauched culture and imperialist government.
"We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation." - Osama bin Laden - to CNN in March 1997.
He is the hero who gave up an easy life to take on the arguably biggest, strongest and most allied country on the globe. He has self-funded a global terrorist network and justified killings with mysterious interpretations of the Koran, labelling them as a mission for Allah.

The Muslim culture holds a high amount of pride for their ability even through the passing years and changing phases of the outside world, to keep their culture almost unchanged since around 600 AD. A fair amount of resentment has built up over the years from the interference of western culture with the seemingly untarnished of the Middle East. From the perspective of the Muslims the western and specifically American culture is offensive and filthy. A lot of the malice shown towards America can be derived from this, in their opinion depraved cultures penetration of theirs.

Although they have been active since the late 1970's, Osama Bin Laden to most was an unknown person before September 11, 2001, when his worldwide terrorist network, Al-Qaeda took to the world trade centres with two aircraft, 157 onboard civilians and hearts set on vengeance. Osama has been criticized for not being personally involved in previous attacks and to this he answered:
" . . . For the American forces to expect anything from me personally reflects a very narrow perception.

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Thousands of millions of Muslims are angry. The Americans should expect reactions from the Muslim world that are proportionate to the injustice they inflict." to Time Magazine Dec 1998
Bin Laden has been labelled a monster and a mastermind. As the instigator and financial operative of several of the past decades most barbaric acts of terrorism here are some examples of bin Laden's handy work:

1 1993: Bombing of World Trade Centre; 6 killed.

2 2000: Bombing of the USS Cole in port in Yemen; 17 U.S. sailors killed.

3 2001, 9/11 multiple plane hijackings and coordinated attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

4 2004: Terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson, Jr., an American, Saudi Arabia.

5 2005: Bombs exploded on 3 trains and a bus in London, England, killing 52.

6 2005: 57 killed at 3 American hotels in Amman, Jordan.

From this short list of examples it can be seen that most of the attacks have been directed at westerner's, specifically more often than not, Americans. Osama actually states his disdain for the Americans in the following quote
". . I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America. Time Magazine
Here in Australia we are more influenced by the American view than the view of anywhere else, and therefore have only been shown one side of the story regauding al-Qaeda.

When the topic of the 9/11 bombing were to be brought up in general conversation a few years ago the immediate response would be something to the effect of ‘should kill those terrorists and see how they feel', never pausing to think that maybe these attacks were purely retaliation against America for the abuse of the Afghani people. Could these attacks have simply been the al-Qaeda retaliation, showing them for once, the American's, exactly how it feels?

The American infection of Afghani and middle-eastern culture in general has been a common brawl between these cultures since the 1970's during the soviet invasion of the area. But Afghanistan and its neighbours have been fighting off foreign rule and invasion since the times of Alexander the great with his campaign across the Asia Minor in 334BC. In modern times against British rule in the 1830's, the USSR in the 1950 – 80's and now with the American's imposing their forces on the Afghani's, they are fighting back harder than ever. Osama bin laden is one man who wouldn't be pushed around by the bullies of the world. He wouldn't just sit there and take American exploitation, wouldn't bow down and do as he was told. He stood up for what he believed in and for his people, and if he is a villain, then so is the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther king, men who also stood against the terrors of their persecutors and endured relentless abuse of their alies for their stubborn refusal.

Bin Laden tops the FBI's security's most wanted terrorist list.
And for what? Protecting his culture? Fighting against their greatest invader? Trying to preserve their way of life? Aren't these all the things that the American's use in their own argument against him?
Why is it that he can be blindly considered a monster by the belligerent people of the world, what did he do that they hadn't already done first?
Jesus said to turn the other cheek, but is that always the way to go about it? Is it wrong to stand up for yourself and your people? Is it wrong to refuse abuse, to fight back, and to try? No, it isn't, and Osama did all these things and more. He did what he could for those he could. He used his resources and political and social connections to get what he needed for his people. Osama was no idiot, no common fool on the street. He was smart, he planned and he knew what he needed to do. He organised, stratagized and exercised his plans and beliefs that are based around the infiltration and desecration of the Muslim culture. If Australia can so no to violence against women, then why cant Osama say no to abuse against the Muslims?

Highly educated, powerful and financially backed, Osama was a force to be reckoned with. These teamed with his ability to organise an army forced these bullies of the world to be the ones in fear for a change.
Osama bin laden is a hero, although from our skewed perspective he appears to be more the villain, it is undeniable that he for the most part has been exercising his right to freedom from the domination of alien culture. Most Australians can remember reading or hearing about a time when we also had a culture and identity separate and untainted by the U.S.'s two dimensional ideals of what a western culture should be. It appears that unlike us the Muslims fronted by Osama bin laden did oppose the infection of American society on their own. And is that such a terrible thing, to desire an identity all your own? Maybe things simply got out of hand, maybe things shouldn't have been allowed to go on and intensify in the way in which they did. But all of that aside Osama did what he and his people believed to be right. Therefore he is a hero, maybe not ours but a hero none the less.


Retrieved from the Internet:

(This site gives unbiased information about the overall life and events of Osama bin laden)

(Proved a good source of information regarding the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S.'s involvement).

(This proved to be the most helpful source in my vain search for negative information regarding the American occupation of the Middle East)

(This source was extremely helpful, due to its collection of quotes regarding mostly the American occupation of the Middle East)
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