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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Islamic burial for bin Laden an affront to U.S.

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Anneke E. Green's column "Obama to Allah: Pardon Osama" (Web, Friday) is right to question why the Obama administration went to such great lengths to bury the body of Osama bin Laden at sea according to Islamic principles. However, two central questions are not posed or answered.

First, the courageous and competent Navy SEALs reportedly killed a total of five men during their raid on bin Laden's three-story compound in Pakistan. One was bin Laden's trusted courier, another reportedly was one of his sons, there were two others and then bin Laden himself.

It is entirely reasonable to presume that every adult at that compound knew very well they were at least harboring, and more likely aiding and abetting, the world's most-wanted terrorist. But how many of them actually planned to kill or had killed anyone? In other words, once the administration's order visited death upon those in the compound, why was the elaborate Islamic funeral rite, complete with washing of the body, wrapping in a white cloth and recitation of the elaborate prayer containing the words "O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him" afforded only to the corpse of the least-qualified "believer"? Does Mr. Obama know something we don't?

That leads us to a second question. Time and time again the American people are lectured by the cowardly political class about how Islamic supremacists "pervert the words of the prophet" or hijack a "peaceful religion" for the purposes of enslaving or killing others. If so, was Osama bin Laden really a believer of Islam? He could not have been. If his actions were not in conformance to the faith's purported tenets of peace and love, he was nothing more than a mass-murdering shaman unworthy of a burial with the rites of any credible religion. What legitimate or just God would forgive or have mercy on such a barbarian?

Yet strict compliance with Islamic burial practices was afforded to bin Laden's corpse. Millions interpret Islam the same way bin Laden did - they simply do not possess the courage and ability to act in such a tactically vicious manner or on the strategic scale that he did.

Osama bin Laden was given an Islamic burial because in the eyes of this administration, he - unlike the others left behind unwashed in pools of their own blood - was an ardent follower of Islam. Apparently, in Mr. Obama's eyes, an Islamic burial was very much earned, and it was carried out at the expense of the American taxpayer and the personal, moral and religious degradation of the American Navy personnel ordered to perform it.

CHRISTOPHER MAXWELL

Ventura, Calif.

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