Muslim leaders in the city reacted with indifference to news of Osama bin Laden’s death. “What Osama did was wrong, but everyone now knows he was once a puppet in the hands of the Americans,” said Saeed Noori, president of the Raza Academy in Mumbai, who sees Osama’s killing as another attempt by the US to assert its supremacy.
“America keeps people alive as per their convenience and kills them when it suits them. Tomorrow, they might raise a new Osama,” Noori said.
According to some Muslim clergy, this killing is the latest instance of the American government taking it upon itself to dispense justice around the world. “Wrongdoers must be punished, and the notion of Muslims being terrorists had strengthened with Osama,” said Maulana Mehmood Ahmed Khan Daryabadi, general secretary of the All-India Ulama Council. “But America is the bigger terrorist – it has killed many more people in several countries.”
Maulana Mustakim Azmi, president of the Jamat-ul-Ulooma Hind in Maharashtra, said a large section of the community saw the killing as part of the “American drama”.
“Media footage has not shown a single clip of Osama’s body so far,” said Azmi, who believes this declaration of Osama’s death is an attempt by US president Barack Obama to win support before the next elections.
Joseph Dias, president of the Catholic Secular Forum, said he hoped Osama’s death was not followed by retaliation from his supporters.
“The fact remains he was the main proponent of a hate campaign which believed in extreme violence,” Dias said.