Photo the Muslim World Needs to See

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bin laden.jpgOver the last couple of days, I have talked to many senior level correspondents and executives at major Arabic news networks including but not limited to Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. I asked them what they thought their viewing audience “needed to see” regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.
The answer has been consistent and uniform. Not withstanding any decision to release a “death photo” of Osama bin Laden — which I personally believe should be released, photos of bin Laden’s corpse being scrubbed, and receiving final Muslim death rites should be released simultaneously.
funeral rites islam.jpgBin Laden was one of the world’s greatest villains, and many in the Muslim world completely accept that — but at the same time, they strongly believe that respect for bin Laden as a Muslim translates into respect for all Muslims, good and bad. The White House and those involved with tracking and killing bin Laden feel similarly as so much emphasis has been placed by the White House on the issue that bin Laden received a burial at sea consistent with Islamic tradition.
When the death photo is eventually released, I think it’s vital that a photo showing that Islamic tradition was followed also be released.
This is important generally — but particularly vital for Muslims around the world.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

13 comments on “Photo the Muslim World Needs to See

  1. Danny says:

    I agree with Richard Engel that muslim “burial at sea” is a bit louche. But if this puts the bin laden burden behind us, so be it.
    Time to bring ALL the troops home, and restore sanity to this country.

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  2. Cee says:

    What if the photos (including those showing burial treatment) were shown only to a group of, say, U.N. officials from around the world?
    Even though I STILL believe Osama died long ago, I like this idea.
    I also don’t care if this was staged to finally put the scary bin Laden to rest along with this farce of a war on terror. End it now.

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  3. rc says:

    Move on, just another sign of US obsession with minutia. There is little or no mutual respect for (or between) the values of the pre-modern Islamic and post-modern USA perspectives.
    This is just another case of misdirecting public attention away into trivia.
    A washed dead body is a cultural rite for the community

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  4. Maw of America says:

    No, no, no! Enough of this horror show. These days, photos prove nothing. I’ve already seen a photo of “Bin Laden” and I seem to recall a photo of a tourist on the top of the World Trade Center with a plane behind him.
    This would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic.

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  5. karenk says:

    Kathleen-we did our best to be respectful of the Islamic faith, which is more than Sunnis and Shias can say they give each other… We didn’t hang em from a bridge and set the corpse on fire or rip him limb from limb. He got better than Saddam got.

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  6. Robert A. Enholm says:

    Good point.
    I wonder whether it is appropriate to release the so-called

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  7. Cee says:

    No (fake) photos will be released. Good!
    I remember how sickened people felt when they saw the dead bodies of our soldiers in Somalia.

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  8. Kathleen says:

    Steve “The White House and those involved with tracking and killing bin Laden feel similarly as so much emphasis has been placed by the White House on the issue that bin Laden received a burial at sea consistent with Islamic tradition.”
    MSNBC’s Richard Engel said the other night that in all of his years in that part of the world he has never heard or been aware of Muslims “burial at sea” He was emphatic.
    Today on the BBC’s world service who said this “burial at sea” is not an Islamic tradition. And that showing the picture would be offensive
    Islamic Scholars: OBL

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  9. DakotabornKansan says:

    Birth of

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  10. ManOutOfTime says:

    I for one am in favor of never showing pictures of
    fallen enemies, even this one. I think it is
    ghoulish and potentially offensive. I think it could
    become iconic for aQ followers and sympathizers. BUt
    above all, I much prefer the banner images for this
    event being the profile of Obama being pensive, the
    shot of him pointing commandingly at the screen, and
    the dramatic moment in the situation room. The flag
    being lifted at Iwo Jima, not the path of
    destruction they cut to get there.

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  11. Kathleen says:

    Steve I am reading and hearing on other websites that this would be very offensive to many Muslims. And why do you insist on repeating that OBL was “the greatest villains” without also condemning the death and destruction that the Bush administration is responsible for. This seems truly lopsided on your part and is a strong indication that you personally value American lives far more than Iraqi or other Muslims lives (those killed by Obamas drones) This is a bit disturbing.
    MSNBC’s Richard Engel said the other night that in all of his years in that part of the world he has never ever heard of a Muslim “burial at sea” He said this clearly. This “burial at sea” that the Obama administration and others keep repeating was “appropriate” is very suspect especially with what Engel has said

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  12. Steve Clemons says:

    JayinAtlanta — You are exactly right. Thanks much for the catch — now fixed. as ever, steve clemons

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  13. JayInAtlanta says:

    I still have no idea why anyone has such a desire to see photos or video of a dead Osama bin Laden.
    However, I do know that you didn’t mean “burial at see,” you meant: “burial at sea.”

    Reply

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