Bin Laden, No More
America’s most wanted meets his Maker. What’s the significance of his death?


Michael Rubin
Bin Laden is dead. Now, let’s stop engaging terrorists and start killing them. Enough with the handwringing about whether we should be targeting Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi: He ordered the death of Americans and, for that, he deserves to die. It is a permanent stain on the United States both that PLO chairman Yasir Arafat died a natural death and that, rather than strike out at Gen. Qasim Sulaimani — who, as head of the Iranian Qods Force, directed the murder of Americans in Iraq — first President Bush and then President Obama sought to engage the Iranian regime. It is absolutely insane that while we are celebrating bin Laden’s demise, the Obama White House is simultaneously figuring out how it might skirt U.S. law to fund a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas.

As I wrote in National Review five years ago, there is nothing illegal about assassinating terror masters — whether they are fugitives like bin Laden or heads of state like Qaddafi. It’s time that the United States stop acting like a befuddled has-been and start acting once again like a global leader. We must make terrorists understand that if they mess with us, they won’t get diplomatic legitimacy; rather, they will simply sign their own death sentences.

 — Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Nina Shea

Al-Qaeda now appears as the unattractive weak horse of bin Laden’s theory and will find it more difficult to attract recruits and funding. This is an essential battle won for the United States. However, it is not the end of the war. The glorification of jihad and the Islamist ideology stirring militancy against the “Zionists and Crusaders” live on to inspire other violent leaders and organizations.

The most prolific proponent of this ideology continues, of course, to be Saudi Arabia. Contrary to the assurances of educational reform it has given the U.S. government, the Saudi regime’s high-school religion textbooks — as I learned on a recent trip to Saudi Arabia — have not been substantially revised since 9/11. These texts are used in all Saudi high schools and exported worldwide to hundreds or thousands of Islamic schools and madrassas.

Below are a few samples excerpted from the 2010–11 Saudi national high-school textbooks, which have found their echo in bin Laden’s frequent rants over the past decade:

Jihad for the sake of God is a profitable trade and saves from painful punishment. It aims at spreading Islam and defending it and correcting the beliefs of people and directing them towards the worship of God Almighty. It also aims at preventing injustice and corruption and rooting out its origins from earth.

Jihad has three levels: . . . The third level: Jihad against the fighting enemies of Islam.

To empower the religion, protect it and raise the banner of Islam.

The Jews and the Christians are enemies of the believers, and they cannot approve of Muslims.

The struggle of this [Muslim] nation with the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills.

The Crusader Threat: The New Approach in the Crusader Wars: . . . The Establishment of Schools and Universities: They have founded many schools and universities in the countries of the Islamic world for the various educational levels. These include: The American Universities in Beirut and Cairo, The Jesuit University, Robert College in Istanbul, and Gordon College in Khartoum.

Nowadays, as have gathered [against] the Arab and Islamic nation the powers of evil, atheism, and tyranny targeting the Islamic creed, the whole nation lives in a Jihad against international Zionism manifested by the state of Jewish gangs called Israel established on the land of Palestine wrongfully and in transgression.

Our main challenge is an ideological one, and we don’t stand a chance if Saudi Arabia does not reform these textbooks.

 — Nina Shea is director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.