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Do Muslims really love death?

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 by Dave Winer.

Shutting down Osama Permalink to Shutting down Osama

Writing in the Independent, Robert Fisk reports: "Last week, US Secretary of State Colin Powell rapped the Emir of Qatar over the knuckles because -- so he claimed -- Al-Jazeera was 'inciting anti-Americanism.'"

Today the Bush Administration has been publicly pressuring western TV networks to not broadcast statements from terrorist leaders fearing that they will transmit hidden messages to their "sleepers" in the United States and elsewhere.

But there's tremendous value in hearing directly from these people, and in the age of the Internet and cellphones, it's hard to imagine what advantage they have in broadcasting hidden messages over TV. I seriously doubt this adds any bandwidth to their cause, that anyone with access to TV wouldn't also have access to email, the Web or a telephone.

But keeping bin Laden and his colleagues off TV might keep them from saying something to the rest of us that our government doesn't want us to hear. But if we let him speak, then others will too, and that's key to our success over terrorism, in my humble opinion.

Do Muslims really love death? Permalink to Do Muslims really love death?

Osama bin Laden says that Muslims look forward to death the way Americans look forward to life. At first this scared me (of course, that's why he said it), but then I realized it must not be true. (This is being repeated over and over, without challenge on the same networks that our government is worried about.)

But if it were true, for the sake of argument, then the win-win is for Muslims to die, and for Americans to live. So Muslims, show support for Uncle Osama by killing yourself. Done deal. Heh.

Of course as most Christians are not Falwell-like, I'm sure most Muslims, like Americans, would like to live. Let them see Osama for what he is. Let them ask the questions that we ask ourselves -- do you want to die before your time is up? How do you feel about Osama using your religion as a cause for killing? Muslim mothers and fathers, would you give your son to him? I, for one, would really like to know.

But before we can ask these questions we have to get Osama on the record. Then let the basic goodness of humanity kick in. It's time for democracy and free speech to come to the Middle East, and then the rest of the world. What clearer way to support that than by saying bravo to Al-Jazeera for putting bin Laden on TV?

My opinion: Put him on TV any day any time. Maybe if he's got access he won't feel the need to kill any more of us. Is our government protecting us from him, or themselves? Maybe he'll get good at exposing our lies. I am interested in more of that.

BTW, let's get some Muslim women on TV too. ;->

I'd also like to hear objective interviews with would-be suicide bombers, without any of their bosses nearby. I'd like to find out if they're really certain about the nirvana that awaits them. I'd like to see their faces, as the interviewer asks what if there's no existence after death?

Dave Winer

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."