At his blog, Andrew Bostom reviews a Washington Times report that strongly suggests Osama bin Laden was, prior to burial at sea, given a funeral in accordance with the navy’s protocols for funerals for Muslim military personnel. If this is so, it would have entailed the ceremonial washing and wrapping of the corpse by another Muslim — symbolic of the cleansing away of the decedent’s sins. Those gathered at the service, presumably naval and other U.S. government personnel aboard the ship, would then have been required to face Mecca as Islamic prayers were recited, including the following:
O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him, grant him security, provide him a nice place and spacious lodgings, wash him (off from his sins) with water, snow and ice, purify him from his sins as a white garment is cleansed from dirt, replace his present abode with a better one, replace his present family with a better one, replace his present partner with a better one, make him enter paradise and save him from the trials of grave [sic] and the punishment of hell.
Dr. Bostom goes on to discuss another disturbing aspect of all this which is not covered in the Washington Times story. The naval protocols also call for recitation of the opening sura (or chapter) of the Koran. If this was done, it should have included verse 1.7, which includes an eternal curse upon Jews and Christians — as Bostom verifies with citations to authoritative commentaries on Islamic scripture.
Specifically, Allah is asked to guide Muslims on the “straight path,” which is “the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your grace [i.e., the Muslims], not of those who have earned your anger [i.e., the Jews], nor of those who went astray [i.e., the Christians].” As the commentaries Bostom draws on elaborate, Jews are deemed to have earned Allah’s wrath by ignoring and killing his prophets, while Christians are seen as having gone astray by indulging in such religious excesses as deifying Jesus, a prophet.
Is this what happened? We will only find out if the Obama administration releases the video footage of the funeral and burial. Since the government has already acknowledged that bin Laden was buried at sea, there would seem to be no good reason for withholding the video (with the understanding that the faces of any military personnel and identifiers of any sensitive locations could be obscured for security purposes).