He’s Finally Gone

Bin Laden is dead. The mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and numerous other attacks around the world for two decades has finally been defeated. This is not only good news for America but the whole world. Peace seems more possible with a monster like Bin Laden out of the picture.

Yesterday, May 1, 2011, the US Military shot and killed the most wanted man in the world. When President Obama made the announcement, the Internet exploded as people rushed to their social networking sites to announce their own reactions to the historical news. At one point, Twitter reported over 5,000 tweets a second. The world is celebrating.

My hope is that with Bin Laden out of the picture (along with many of al-Qaeda’s top officials over the past 10 years), and with more democratic revolutions breaking out all over the Arab world, global peace will become more plausible than it has been since 2001.

Of all the reactions and commentary, I found Jon Stewart’s to be among the best. On Monday night, he had this to say on his program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

“Last night was a good night, for me, and not just for New York or D.C. or America but for human-people. The face of the Arab World in America’s eyes for too long has been Bin Laden and now it is not. Now, the face is only the young people in Egypt and Tunisia and all the Middle Eastern countries around the world where freedom rises up. al-Qaeda’s opportunity is gone… We’re back, baby.”

May the new chapter in history begin. May this be the century when the Middle East and the rest of the world become closer to achieving peace.

Crowds at Ground Zero celebrate the news of Bin Laden's death

 

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How can I ask for peace without sounding cliché?

I know that everybody – well, the sane – wants world peace. Regional conflicts, global wars, mass genocide, extremism, terrorism…is there any hope for our insane world? Can global peace be achieved?

As I wrote in the previous post, I strongly believe that extremism and fundamentalism in all religions threatens progress and humanity’s survival. The violent indoctrination that self-proclaimed “prophets” and other religious leaders instill into their manipulated followers is one of the biggest tragedies in the world today. To think that the people who blow up schools and behead journalists do so because they are promised a special fast-track to an afterlife in paradise is horrific and revolting.

I’m not asking for those who earnestly and peaceably follow their faiths to abandon them. Rather, I am hoping that we can reach a point where coexistence is a global reality…a world where religious violence is a horrible thing of the past. No matter what you believe or who you are, we are all deserving of respect and kindness.

Here’s a beautiful video by the amazing Madonna. Performed at her 2006 “Confessions Tour” stop in London, Madonna turned her song “Forbidden Love” into a prayer for peace. Enjoy and think…