Al Aqsa Mosque Imam Vows Revenge on Obama For Death of Bin Laden

Here’s what he said:

In a Youtube video uploaded by the imam he said: “The western dogs are rejoicing after killing one of our Islamic lions. From Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the future caliphate will originate with the help of God, we say to them – the dogs will not rejoice too much for killing the lions. The dogs will remain dogs and the lion, even if he is dead, will remain a lion.”

The imam then verbally attacked US President Barack Obama saying: “You personally instructed to kill Muslims. You should know that soon you’ll hang together with Bush Junior.”

“We are a nation of billions, a good nation. We’ll teach you about politics and military ways very soon, with god’s help,” he vowed.

There is a version of the video with subtitles here.

The original can be viewed online here.

I mention this only because many commentators have expressed a level of surprise at the reaction to the death of Bin Laden by some Palestinian factions. Take, for example, Mairav Zonszein in the Haaretz-linked 972 Mag:

Hamas could have chosen to remain quiet with its discontent, or it could have expressed that it would have been better for the US to have brought him to trial – but it didn’t, so it has necessarily aligned itself with the more radical Islamic groups who have denounced the killing and even vowed its revenge.

It is perplexing that Hamas chose to do this at a time when the international community is hopeful for its potential to unite the Palestinians, moderate its positions and cooperate with the Palestinian Authority towards a peace agreement with Israel. Furthermore, I doubt that condemning Bin Laden’s death improves its standing among Palestinians in Gaza, who are more interested in jobs and security.

Most Palestinians are indeed interested in jobs and security. However, a significant minority of 34% of polled Palestinians expressed “confidence” in Bin Laden. That’s down from over 50% a couple of years back, and over 70% in 2003, but it is still the highest approval rating in the Muslim world.

So, I’d expect a promise to avenge the death of Osama Bin Laden would play well with approximately one in three Palestinians.

Bear in mind that the sort of person who supports Osama Bin Laden is also likely to be less concerned by things like state building, trade, employment protections, education, healthcare, and so on. They are likely to be much more interested in laser guided anti-tank missiles, planting bombs in bus stations, and hanging louche Italian “peace activists”.

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