May 2nd, 2011
12:44 PM ET

U.S. Muslims hope bin Laden death will ease pressure

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Asma Hasan, an American Muslim lawyer in Denver, was having dinner with her family when they heard that Osama bin Laden was dead.

Within moments, her phone buzzed.

"A Muslim relative of mine texted and said, 'This is great news, what a relief.' It wasn't celebratory, but 'wow,'" she explained.

Bin Laden changed Hasan's life permanently, she said.

"He is someone who has hurt my country and my religion forever," she said.

And despite her reservations as a lawyer that he was never brought to trial, she said, "If there was ever a justification for this type of action, this was it."

"The world should know that it is not a safe place to be ... a terrorist. I am proud that my country will not stand for this," said Hasan, the author of "Red, White and Muslim."

But she is also conscious that not all Americans see the United States as her country, since she is Muslim.

Bin Laden's jihad against the United States put American Muslims on the defensive, she said.

"We have had to help Americans understand what is going on in the Muslim world, which is so diverse. We have had to bear the brunt of American anger and hurt," she explained.

"We have a strength of faith and have been able to handle it, but we have all become ambassadors of our faith, whether we want to our not," she said.

"It's 10 years later and people still question us," she said.

"I don't think the death of Osama will change that," she predicted. "It's a good achievement for American Muslims, but I don't think the pressure will let up."

Eggs were thrown at an Anaheim, California, nightclub the night of bin Laden's death, hitting club owner Mohammed El Khatib.

An Arab-American businessman got proof of that even as he was celebrating the death of bin Laden.

Eggs were thrown at Fusion Ultra Lounge in Anaheim, California, hitting its owner, Mohammed El Khatib.

The irony is that El Khatib served in the American armed forces, and his first thoughts were of them when he heard they got bin Laden.

American Muslims felt no sympathy for bin Laden, El Khatib said: "We're not part of him. We're happy that he's dead. We're happy that he's gone."

An American Muslim umbrella organization also welcomed the news that the al Qaeda figurehead had been "eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world."

"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," the Council on American Islamic Relations said in a statement.

The former imam of a controversial Muslim community center scheduled for lower Manhattan called the death of bin Laden a turning point not just for the world, but for American Muslims in particular.

"That wound (from September 11, 2001) has never quite healed," said Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, formerly of Park51.

"The killing of Osama bin Laden is a major milestone," he said, expressing "the sense that there is a sense of healing beginning to take place."

Asma Hasan hopes so.

Looking to celebrate bin Laden's death in Denver, she and her brother drove past the state Capitol after hearing the news.

They saw seven people waving flags, so they honked their horns, pumped their fists and shouted "USA!" Hasan said.

But they didn't stop, and they didn't announce their religion.

I wonder if I had rolled the window down and said, 'I am a Muslim and I am happy that the war on terror is succeeding,' what their reaction would have been," she wondered. "I don't know what they would have said."

CNN's Ted Rowlands and Ali Velshi contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Muslim • Osama bin Laden

soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Interesting site although not related to the blog subject but could be a source of informations related to the Holy Quran....

    May 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  2. Muneef

    An Arabian Proverb states that "The worst of all disasters is the One that makes laugh...admit many might have laughed out first out of disbelieve that such kids  is said to have pulled such unbelievable act to such A Country with such tight Security ...then again have laughed in disbelieve of what might happen as a reaction for that pulled act which serves no Arabian nor a Muslim country but rather it served those who want certain accounts or references to burn down or to shake the trade for certain immediate gains or for gains that might result out of the reaction that will follow...

    To find out the truth you have to find out who had benefited from those attacks against the twin towers....?! It would never be by any ordinary men but it would rather be by those on the tiptop of (Finance&Power) to pull such act either towards making immediate financial or political gains or for hiding their crimes by making another crime....       

    The biggest proof to that was killing him with any chance of court hearing to his words of defense or finding him guilty of all charges they made us hear over the years...so they chance to close the chapter....

    [40:44] "Some day you will remember what I am telling you now. I leave the judgment of this matter to GOD; GOD is the Seer of all the people."

    May 4, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  3. Sasha Hasani

    I'd like to think so... but nah, it won't. Republicans and conservatives will continue to dig their graves alienating this voter block. Just like they continue to burn their bridges with the Latinos.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  4. Muhammad


    May 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  5. Muneef

    They will always find or bring out an excuse for things to remain as it is as fear control project....otherwise how would they milk out the western tax payers or the Arabian,Muslim countries off their money if no boogyman exists to threaten them with or use as an excuse to invade or forcibly apply politics for them to follow blindly !?

    May 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    The reason for enomosity towards Islam comes from one troubling fact 90% of all minorities in Islamic countries have been eliminated over the past century. This fact exists from the most radical to the supposedly most modern Islamic countries. Hence individually there are very nice Muslims. As a group and majority they have been systamatic and Genecidal without no exception. Also you here so many Muslims that come to the west how they talk of the fact that they will be a majority and contro their host country. They act like conquering Fascists. Why should we risk our children and invite those who have proven in almost every country they control that they systematically eliminate all minorities.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Nick

      Just out of curiousity...can you supply your audience with some specific examples?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • Anonymous

      Don't bother waiting for an answer. He could have been truthful and said that minorities are oppressed, but he has to claim a made up genocide.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  7. Joe Redbear

    Well Done

    May 3, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  8. Joe Redbear

    Justice is finaly served, and i prey that all people can move on with there live's. Too The Navy Seal Team? Well done my Brother's, be safe and come home soon.

    May 3, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  9. vikingwoman

    As an interdenominational Christian I have agreat sense of inclusion when it comes to worship. In fact I have a crazy sense that we are indeed praying to the same God with many different names,like my Noweigan Grandmother. In my own life I respect & glory in the beautiful & traditional aspects of various religions, that I've been priveliged to observe. Osama bin Ladens death was necessary. No sane person of any religion should mourn. As the decade memorial of 9/11 approaches, bin Ladens death will serve as relief to those affected!

    May 3, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  10. saima

    After bosnian war I and all others have been told America is only place on the earth where "hate" do not exist. I thought to my self, yes that is the place where I wants to live. Unfortunetly 911 have changed lives of many inisent people. I also started to learn more about American history and had realized one thing "there is no such a place on this earth". I am a muslim and love diversity. We can not all be same but would be much better to work and look at our similarities instead of our differences.

    May 3, 2011 at 12:24 am |

      Very true. The facts are that 90% of minoritieshave been eliminated in Islamic countrolled countries over the past century. Given that terrible almost genocidal record why should we trust or risk our children.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  11. Jose M. Pulido

    Beware that there may be Isamists here who pose as native Americnas to badmouth the USA.

    May 3, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Isma'il

      I have to admit, 72 virgins sound alot better than just, hanging out with Jesus and another dead people. I want a Muslim Heaven

      May 3, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • niwdog

      Maybe you're an islamist posing as an American in order to make Americans look bigoted and hateful?

      May 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.