Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 13, 2012

Bin Laden’s Hypocrisy

A story in yesterday’s issue of Britain’s The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Osama bin Laden allegedly urged his children and grandchildren to “go live peacefully in the West and get a university education” and that they “should not follow him down the path to jihad.” According to the news article, Zakaria al-Sadah, the brother of bin Laden’s Yemeni-born fifth wife, bin Laden told his progeny, “You have to study, live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done.” Wow! If this is indeed true then it is akin to Darwin telling his kids to go study creationism. And, if it is true, then bin Laden has earned himself a permanent place among history’s most despicable hypocrites — those whose crest displays the shameful motto: “Do as I say, not as I do.”

These alleged remarks by bin Laden also cast a sad light on the fact that those who recruit kids to do acts of jihad tend to recruit other people’s kids and not their own. Last year Ben Farmer, the Afghanistan Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, reported that the Taliban was recruiting boys as young as nine-years-old to serve as suicide bombers. Farmer wrote that young kids “are considered easier to recruit and more gullible than adults.” In describing how recruiters had manipulated young boys, Farmer wrote, “The boys had been given amulets containing verses from the Koran which they were told would protect them from the explosion. On their return, they would be hailed as heroes and their parents would be guaranteed entry into heaven.” It’s not likely that any of these recruiters would have told these same lies to their own kids.

Children are trusting by nature and generally tend to believe what adults tell them. Farmer noted in his article that “child bombers are often lied to, brainwashed, or coerced.” Jesus warned adults about misusing their influence and causing others to stumble. He taught that leading others astray, especially children, is a very serious offense with severe consequences — so severe, in fact, that it would be better to have a millstone tied around one’s neck and to be thrown into the sea than for a person to face God after causing a little one to stumble (Luke 17:1-2).

Did bin Laden regret the path he had chosen and was he indeed worried that his own children might follow his example? Did he really believe that his children “should not follow him down the path to jihad” as reported by his brother-in-law? If so, then he should have issued one of his video oratories to warn not just his own kids, but other children as well. But alas, it appears that he only sounded the warning within the hearing of his own household. That not only makes him a hypocrite, it makes him a villainous hypocrite. But, perhaps this latest news about the late al-Qaeda terrorist will serve as a cautionary tale that will save some poor child from being duped into unwittingly participating in another senseless act of violence. One can only hope.

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