Monday, September 10, 2007

Osama bin Laden: Media Star

If you liked Osama bin Laden's video that came out earlier this month, you'll love his new video, appearing soon on a screen near you!

At least, that seems to be what Al Qaeda is hoping. An "Islamic militant Web site" featured a banner announcing bin Laden's coming hit. The New York Sun's Associated Press article quoted the banner in English, although I'm pretty sure it's a translation. Here it is:

"'Coming soon, God willing, the testament of the attacks on New York and Washington, Abu Musab Waleed al-Shehri, presented by Sheik Osama bin Laden, God preserve him,' the banner read. It showed an image of Sheik bin Laden wearing the same black beard and clothes as in the most recent video."

I'm not a big Bin Laden fan, myself, mostly because I prefer a society where my wife can get groceries on her own, my daughters can learn to read and write, and my son won't be taught to beat his future wife and daughters. Call me a bigot, but I don't approve of beliefs like that.

As a reminder of a previous Al Qaeda mega-happening, Abu Musab Waleed al-Shehri is one of the nineteen martyrs who struck a blow against the infidel five years and 364 days ago today.

(I learned something today. Sheik (شيخ‎) seems to be Bin Laden's preferred title, so in the spirit of multiculturalism, I'll drop the western "Mr.")

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.


Brigid said...

Sheik? Isn't that like a king?

Somehow, Bin Laden doesn't seem very royal to me.

Brian H. Gill said...

In this case, "Sheik" would be "the leader of an Arab village or family." (See Princeton's WordNet Search)

In fact, Sheik Usama Bin Laden is quite an imposing man. I understand that he's over six feet tall, something that's presumably made it difficult to blend in with many Middle Eastern populations.

As to his manner, I think we're looking at different cultural norms here. I've noticed, in news video, at least, that leaders from that part of the world, Saudi Arabia, in particular, often have mannerisms which I would consider, well, smarmy.

Smiles that appear to be condescending, dismissive gestures, and the like.

This could be a cultural thing. Americans get loud when we get excited, typically. In Japan, I understand that speaking loudly is regarded as a sign of anger.

That made business meetings between Japanese and American business people awkward at times.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.