I, like millions around the world, woke up this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a U.S air raid on his house in Pakistan. Now, I consider myself to be a fairly laid-back and tolerant person, but part of me is glad he's dead. The other part is worried about what his followers might do in his memory and how many more innocent people around the world will suffer because of this man's intolerance and hatred.
He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions. Apart from those who died in attacks he and his associates planned and carried out , there are the thousands who died in retaliation attacks. Muslims around the world were reviled and hated like no other time in history and despite more than 90% of us condemning his tactics we all suffered for them. Muslim women who wore head-scarves were attacked and the amount of security checks that young 'middle-eastern looking' men had to go through, especially at airports were almost insulting. It wasn't just Muslims who suffered of course, Seik men who wear turbans were attacked after being mistakenly identified as 'terrorists'.
While I am not naive enough to believe this to be anywhere near the end of Al-Queada, I can and will hope that Bin Laden's death coupled with the recent pro-democratic awakenings in the Middle East will at least help to repair the damage one man has wrought on an entire people and that we Muslims feel that we can reclaim our religion from the fanatics who shout the loudest.