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Folha, Brazil

Bin Laden's Death Won't Kill His Violent Methods or Manner of Speaking


"It would be illusory to believe that these al-Qaeda affiliated groups would lay down their arms because someone who might have great symbolic value, but was no longer the chief executive of the franchise, has been killed."


Bt Clvis Rossi*


Translated By Cristiane Teston


May 2, 2011


Brazil - Folha - Original Article (Portuguese)

Supporters of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Nazaryati Party shout anti-U.S. slogans in Quetta, after Osama bin Laden was killed, May 2.

AL-JAZEERA NEWS: Live coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden.RealVideo

I've halted my vacation for a day because talking of bin Laden's death is inescapable. But then again - not so much about his death, because everything, or almost everything, has already been said about it, but about the "day after," or the many "days after."


My initial feeling was the same as was expressed by Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib: "Getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of world peace, but what counts even more is overcoming the way of speaking and violent methods that were created and encouraged by bin Laden and others in the world."



It's obvious that killing bin Laden neither kills his way of speaking nor his methods, partly because over time, al-Qaeda ceased to have a highly centralized hierarchy and became sort of a franchise, with more-or-less loose ties between each of its, say, subsidiaries.


Just recall the list - the incomplete list - of organizations that share these methods and fundamentalist way of speaking drawn up by the Council on Foreign Relations: The Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Islamic Army of Aden (Yemen), Jamaat al-Tawhid wal Jihad (al-Qaeda in Iraq), Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad (Kashmir), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Armed Islamic Group (Algeria), Abu Sayyaf Group (Malaysia and Philippines) and Jemaah Islamiyah (Southeast Asia).


It would be illusory to believe that these groups would lay down their arms because someone who might have great symbolic value, but was no longer the chief executive of the franchise, has been killed.



Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran: Obama Seeks to 'Vindicate Bush'
Outlook Afghanistan: U.S. Must Pursue Mullah Omar as it did bin Laden
Pak Tribune, Pakistan: Senators Call U.S. Operation a Breach of Sovereignty
Frontier Post, Pakistan: Osama Episode Puts Safety of Nuke Assets in Peril
El Pais, Spain: Obama 'Decapitates' the al-Qaeda Hydra
Folha, Brazil: Bin Laden's 'Second Death'
Folha, Brazil: Death Won't Kill Osama's Violent Ways or Speech
Dawn, Pakistan: The Urgent Importance of Showing 'Mutual Respect'
The Independent, U.K.: Killing of bin Laden 'Huge Blow' to Islamist Terror
The Telegraph, U.K.: OBITUARY: Osama bin Laden
Telegraph, U.K.: Taliban Commander Vows to Avenge bin Laden's Death
Guardian, U.K.: Hamas Praises bin Laden as Holy Warrior
Telegraph, U.K.: Death of bin Laden is Rough Justice, Wild West-Style
Dawn, Pakistan:
Pakistanis Hold Rally in Honor of bin Laden
Dawn, Pakistan: Pakistan Asks U.S. Envoy to Avoid bin Laden 'Spin'

Xinhua. China: Six Children and Two Wives of bin Laden Arrested By Pakistan
Daily Star, Lebanon: Prime Minister Hariri: 'Bin Laden Got What He Deserved'

Daily Star, Lebanon: Lebanese Muslim Preachers Hail Osama for U.S. Attack


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It's illustrative to recall that two of al-Qaedas masterminds in Iraq were killed, in 2006 and 2006, and no one can say that Iraq is now a haven for peace.


Its not only in the Arab-Muslim world that terrorist cells exist. Ahmed Rashid, one of the great experts in the subject, told the BBC's Today show, "In part because hundreds of Muslims with European passports have traveled to Pakistan's tribal areas for training and have returned to Europe, every European country has an al-Qaeda cell" [translated quote].


So, let is return to the central point raised by Palestinian spokesman Ghassan Khatib: how to disarm this violent way of expression?



A good first step would be to restore to the Arab world a decent quality of life, what the Arabs themselves have begun to do in some countries like Egypt and Tunisia. Putting hope on the horizon help cut the fuel from fanaticism.


But for a generation already seduced by a way of speaking and violent methods, there seems little reason to hope. Fanaticism has no cure.


Clovis Rossi is a special correspondent and member of the Folha editorial board, is a winner of the Maria Moors Cabot award (USA) and is a member of the Foundation for a New Ibero-American Journalism. His column appears on Thursdays and Sundays on page 2 and on Saturdays in the World Notebook section. He is the author, among other works, of Special Envoy: 25 Years Around the World and What is Journalism?


E-mail: crossi@uol.com.br



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