May 3, 2011
"Is he really dead?", "Have they killed him", "Was the body Osama's", these were the things heard in conversations. But the reaction among a large number of Muslims was different. They felt that with Laden's death, the war against terrorism launched by America and that caused Islamophobia, may finally end now.
Since 9/11, Muslims had to face racial profiling, were seen as suspects and often complained of harassment by security agencies. Terrorism is not limited to any religion or any particular country. Unfortunately in the last decade, the word came to be associated with Muslims.
The term 'terrorists' nearly became a synonym for the 'Muslim terrorist'. This increased tensions between US and the rest of the Islamic world. The killing of Osama, the global face of Al Qaeda, is not just a symbolic victory for America but also a logical end of the war that began with the destruction of Twin Towers.
Most Muslims feel that steadily over a period of time the relations between Islam and West would improve. Under George Bush, the American rhetoric had angered Muslims. Though the attack over Iraq had angered Islamic world, things have changed now.
A new wave of reforms is sweeping across the Middle East. However, America must tread cautiously as its actions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, attacks on Libya, handling of Egypt and Syria, are all being watched by the Muslims. US must not be seen as a country hell-bent on destabilizing Muslim nations.
For the moment, US can rejoice. With Osama buried deep in the sea, Muslims hope that the distortion of Islamic terms like 'jihad' would finally end now. For long, Muslims have seen the cycles of violence. It is hoped that there will be a new dawn in the world including Muslim countries.