Pakistani Immigrants and Muslim Groups in the U.S. Welcome Bin Laden’s Death

On Coney Island Avenue, in Brooklyn, where the majority of Pakistani Americans reside, the Council of Peoples Organizations (COPO) celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden by distributing sweets amongst community members

A Pakistani-American organization distributed sweets after the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo: Mohsin Zaheer)

NEW YORK–“The news of the death of Osama bin Laden gave me relief,” was the reaction of Talat Hamdani, whose son, Salman Hamdani, a Muslim Pakistani American died in the World Trade Center on 9/11/01.

“Justice has been done and an ugly chapter of the world’s history is closed, now we should move forward to maintain justice and peace through out the world,” she added, echoing President Obama’s remarks.

Members of New York’s Pakistani community learned that bin Laden was gone when they woke up Monday morning, and have been glued to TV screens since then. Many called each other to their share thoughts on a terrorist who was killed in a compound in their homeland. Junaid Bashir, also know as Johny Bashir, an activist in Virginia’s Pakistani American community shared his thoughts on his facebook page. He posted the last known picture of bin Laden and wrote what was on his mind:

LAST PICTURE OF THE WORLD’S MOST WANTED TERRORIST … JUSTICE IS SERVED TODAY… 🙂

Almost all the major organizations representing Muslim Americans immediately released statements that welcomed the death of bin Laden.

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a press release that stated “Osama bin Laden posed a serious threat to the security of America and the world, and the removal of this threat is a significant turning point in the post-9/11 global War on Terror.”

“We reiterate President Obama’s statement that America is not at war with Islam and Osama bin Laden was not representative of Muslims. We must remember with conviction the unity that brought us out of the devastation of September 11, 2001, and work to preserve that unity in coming days.”

The Islamic Society of North America posted a press release with the headline “ISNA Welcomes Justice For 9/11 Victims” on its website. The organization said it hoped bin Laden’s death would bring some relief to all the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 and bin Laden’s other terrorist attacks.  “ISNA joins all Americans in thanking President Obama for fulfilling his promise to bring Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, and perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks, to justice,” the statement read.

“As the President pointed out in his address to the nation, the ideology of bin Laden is incompatible with Islam: “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement early this morning that the death of bin Laden eliminated a terrorist threat to the United States and the world:

“We join our fellow citizens in welcoming the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world through the actions of American military personnel. As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and Al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide. We also reiterate President Obama’s clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam.”

On Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn,  the heart of New York’s Pakistani American community, the Council of Peoples Organization (COPO) celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden by distributing sweets among community members. A sign on the door said, “Come and enjoy our celebration for a better tomorrow. ALL New Yorkers stand united!”

Ijaz Shahid Malik, a Pakistani American called the office of Sada-e-Pakistan (a weekly newspaper serving the Pakistani American community). “I want to congratulate everybody, bin Laden’s death is a good news for all of us,” he said.  “We must celebrate this death.”

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