[Editorial by Paul ..]
As news about Osama bin Laden’s private life on the run come out, we learn he had four sons with his youngest wife, Amal Ahmad Abdul Fatah, who has been revealing her relationship with bin Laden over the last ten years. In that time, she had four sons with bin Laden, and as one person asked, “does honor they father …., still apply to his sons?”
According to Pakistani police reports investigating bin Laden’s youngest wife, after 9-11, the family scattered across Pakistan while bin Laden himself lived in the rural mountain rages along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border for nine months before going to Peshawar, Swat, and Haripur and then eventually going to Abbottabad, where he was ultimately found and killed by US Navy Seals. In that time, he fathered four sons to his youngest wife alone, and reports suggest he also father more to his other wives during this time, but this has not been confirmed yet.
The amount of help bin Laden had must have been given is significant, and with some level of Pakistani Intelligence assistance say experts and other news reports, noting that he traveled great distances and through densely populated places at times and that it would have been hard for the world’s most wanted man to get by without detection. While the US was looking for him in the mountains, he was living in houses across Pakistan.
Two of bin Laden’s sons were born in government-run hospitals and were documented like any other birth; the other two are believed to have been born at home with the assistance of private medical officials sympathetic to bin Laden.
So does that commandment apply to bin Laden’s sons, and how could they honor a man responsible for killing thousands of innocent lives? While this is a Christian belief, Islam also teaches a similar peaceful line of thinking. Are his sons doomed to fail this Godly obedience solely because of who their father is? Should they be condemned as well just because they were born to a mad-man who perverted a religion to further his own crazy ideological goals?
Bin Laden’s wife Fatah was from Yemen and obtained a medical visa to enter Pakistan in 2000 and subsequently overstayed her visa and was considered an illegal immigrant.
As the days and years wore on, bin Laden and his wives eventually made it to the rented house in Abbottabad, a military-dominated city about 45 miles from the country’s capital, Islamabad. There, two of bin Laden’s wives argued ferociously about domestic matters and jealously ran deep among them.
With the help of his courier, they were able to move in and live there undetected by locals, but US government officials believed that some elements of the Pakistani government and intelligence services knew he was there and were protecting him. Ultimately, it was his courier that brought him down as US intelligence learned how to track the courier’s outings based on phone calls he made while he was out. This leads the US to the compound where he had been living for the last couple of years.
Bin Laden has a sweet tooth, and also love hamburgers, a food icon of a nation he so vehemently hated. And he preferred Adidas sandals above others. But his finances were in shambles, and the wives bickered about their standings, and quality of life and comfort, and did not like having to acknowledge their lives had been financed by donations and they had been reduced to beggars covered in a cloak of religion.
They also argued about who’s son should have more favor, and how to raise them. Is all this a lesson in why polygamy does not work?
Many locals in the area that have spoken to western media outlets say they had no clue bin Laden was so close, and most are probably telling the truth because bin Laden never left the compound. Most were surprised to hear and see helicopters in their neighborhood the night the US took bin Laden down, and one even shot video of the helicopters and posted it online.
While bin Laden laid out a doctrine that technology and television were evil, pictures of him watching himself on videos, playing games and saving files on his computer were published. It seems the most wanted leader had a problem obeying the very commands he preached.
So not only is bin Laden responsible for so many evils, but he also is a corrupt leader that lives a false life, contrary to what he demands of his followers.
So where does this leave his four sons? Two of them are still in Pakistan, the location of the other two are not known but believed to have been taken out of Pakistan and had their names changed. Is Yusef “Smith” now living on Main Street?
Perhaps the answer to the question about honoring they father is still yes. Yes, bin Laden’s sons can honor their father. Honor him by showing him in his death that they can rise above the legacy of their father, give back to humanity, and be good citizens of the world, and most importantly, teaching the children they eventually will have that they are not related to that crazy old man, after all, they have different last names.
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