May 9th, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Opinion: Bin Laden's sea burial was 'sad miscalculation'

Editor's note: Abdal Hakim Murad is a lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University, England. In 2010 he was voted Britain's most influential Muslim thinker by Jordan's Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center. His latest book, "Bombing without Moonlight," is about the religious meaning of suicide bombing.

By Abdal Hakim Murad, Special to CNN

Death, as Henry James put it, is "that distinguished thing." Whether we believe in immortality or think that consciousness dies with the body, we instinctively treat it with a mixture of nervousness and respect. We remember the deaths of Socrates, of Kennedy, of Gandhi, and of Hitler.

Unless suicidal, their deaths were not of their choosing; yet in a strange way they remain a living part of their legacy. Sometimes our final moments forever shape the way we are remembered.

Read the full commentary by Abdal Hakim Murad
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Opinion • Osama bin Laden

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. 4thelittleguy

    "This contradicts all humanitarian principles," he declared. "In Islamic law, it is forbidden to mistreat a human body, whatever its religion or sect may have been. To honor a body, one must bury it." I find this perspective hypocritical when those who blatantly murdered and mutilated private U.S. contractors bodies in the Iraq and then subsequently hung them from a bridge were supposedly those who practice the Islamic faith. It is interesting to see how certain aspects of the Islamic faith are ignored when chosen and used as a standard of conduct in other cases. How convenient that must be. As for Bin Laden, his involvement in the 9/11 attacks didn't allow any of the 3,000 people who died a humanitarian burial so he received the same consideration that he gave them.

    May 31, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
  2. Muneef


    May 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      Old Investment was scapegoated for a new investment being created....!!!

      May 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  3. Goozle

    bin Laden was a Jihadist. As such, his body should have been disposed of in the usual manner – by having a suicide belt wrapped around him by his pious elders, then having it remotely detonated.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  4. john

    someone pursued the devil in order to exact justice. In the process the person broke every rule of decency they ever believed in. In the end the devil was satisfied that the guy had changed into his image and the devil made himself to be found and the guy perpetrated the worse kind of murder. Believe Bin ladin's singular achievement was the bringing out the worst in Americans: disrespect of human rights,human renditions, Abu Ghraib, collateral damage, disrespect of state sovereignty , torture and extra-judicial killings etc and in the end America has changed into the Bin Ladin it abhors.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  5. question

    As far as I know, hitler commited suicide...

    May 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  6. sam kohen

    Sharks reaction: YEEEEECH!

    May 10, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  7. Goody

    The idea that this government had the body of the most wanted terrorist in history and dumped him into the ocean is absolutely ludicrous. The fact that anyone in this country believes that crap is pathetic.

    May 10, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Possibility

      Maybe bin Laden is being "buried at sea" every day in some super-secret prison somewhere. One day of "buried at sea" for each victim will be about right.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  8. nulaw99

    Abdal Hakim Murad – aka Timothy John Winter – is a convert to Islam and a Cambridge lecturer being paid by Shaykh Zayed of the UAE. Having studied at this university I can safely say that it epitomises the UK's placation and subservience to the Muslim world.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      "Having studied at this university I can safely say that it epitomises the UK's placation and subservience to the Muslim world."

      Having studied at this university I can safely say that it epitomises the UK's lack of values and eagerness to bend over for a handful of petro dollars from fil thy rich arab sheikhs.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:18 am |
    • nulaw99

      Not only the sheikhs B(iraq), also the fear of the poor Muslim on the British streets who calls for the destruction of the UK, the implementation of Sharia law in the UK, and death to all Brits who fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • Sharon

      OMG! Little TJ is now writing articles on CNN! Don't they know he's insane?

      May 10, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  9. Ted M

    This guy is a blatant Islamic propagandist.
    I'd say he's one of the up-and-comers in the Islamic Jihad.
    Maybe he will be the new leader of Al Qaida.
    He certainly talks like that sort.
    I expect our people have an eye on him. They'd be fools not to.

    May 10, 2011 at 4:20 am |
  10. Adelina

    Everyone dies, not just notorious ones. People should worry about the eternal judgment upon themselves, not just death. Existence of death proves to humans that humans are morally responsible beings. Humans are sinful and therfore hopeless and defenseless without the possessing the new life provided by the Divine Savior Jesus.

    May 10, 2011 at 4:13 am |
  11. Rynesa

    Hrblr is obviously a right wing fanatic, which is often as bad as being an Islamic one. Simple people have simple world views. They made the right move not showing pics and parading the body around, it was calculated to prevent a violent reaction from the masses in Pakistan and other places. Murad is a hypocrite and an opportunist, shame on CNN.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  12. NoWay

    Feed Murad pork bellies.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  13. TKS

    I searched for, and was unable to find, any writings by Mr. Abdal Hakim Murad condeming the mutilation of Americans killed in muslim countries–for instance, Falljuah. Where was Mr. Murad's outrage then?!

    May 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Hrblr

      An excellent point. Murad is nothing but a w-hore. He thinks his farts are truth as he prays with his ass in the air.
      He is deserving of violence. Maybe someone will take him out just like we took out OBL. I will take a dump on any dead muslims I see. No need to thank me.

      May 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "Maybe someone will take him out just like we took out OBL. "

      HrBlr – That's pretty rough there. I can say some one debating him or having him fired from his position or banned from visiting the US but to wish him dead for his views .... that's a bit much. They are disgusting but hoping a Special forces team kills him for what he says is opening the door to a lot of sanactioning of speech and you never know because one day it might be someone saying that you or me should be taken out because of something we said.

      May 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Hrblr

      You are a weak-minded fool and would not miss you. Try reading what Murad says to idiots like you. Your dead body will be covered with flies and all your weak pansyass comments will mean nothing to them as they kill you.
      Murad knows he is lying. He knows that muslimns never bury their victims with any respect. He is lieing to your face and you are slobbering at his feet. Why don't you move to pakistan, you puling excuse for a retard.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  14. jane

    what a selfish jerk. It's not all about you! Does he care so much about the sensitivities of all the Chrsitians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists killed by Muslim terrorists?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Reality

    Muslims to include Abdal Hakim Murad demonize themselves via the history of Islam as seen in their founder, an illiterate, hallucinating, warmongering, greedy and lust-filled, long-dead Arab. As long as the Worst Book Ever Written aka the koran is the operating manual of Islam, Muslims of any stripe including A. Murad cannot be trusted.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  16. The Amazing Religious Bullsh!t Detector Has Found Another One

    Show me all the Muslims who have treated the bodies of the Christians they have killed according to Christian principles. Point to that evidence. How about Jews? Did their Muslim killers give their bodies proper Jewish rituals? Of course not. If you want cultural respect, you have to give it, and Muslims have not shown it or given it.

    To demand obedience to your customs but not obey the customs of others is pure hypocrisy. But that's not the real agenda of those doing it, including yourself. You hate America, and you want other Muslims to get angry too. You are fanning the flames of hatred with your self-righteous religious bullsh!t.

    Who is creating further mistrust? Abdal Murad is.

    Who is creating a further legend about America's contempt for Islam? Abdal Murad is.

    America must obey Muslim leaders in the disposal of the body of a Muslim mass-murdering terrorist? Why does CNN and Cambridge give an idiot like you the forum in which to blather your divisive hatred?

    May 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • BG

      " Why does CNN and Cambridge give an idiot..."

      Cambridge, UK, is a Muslim stronghold, and CNN caters to the Muslim agenda of Saudi Prince Walid, a major stockholder in Time/Warner, CNN's parent company.

      From Murad's extended article:

      " Bin Laden's watery funeral is looking, therefore, like a kind of macabre posthumous victory. By failing to dispose of the body in a way acceptable to Muslims, as defined by their leaders, America has helped to create a further legend about its contempt for Islam. Moreover, it has shown that, 10 years after 9/11, it has still not managed to understand even the most basic of Muslim practices. The result is likely to be further mistrust, at a moment that should have been a turning point, and a closing of an ugly and bitter chapter."

      This is called making a silk purse from a sow's ear. Pun intended. How to turn something obviously bad for your cause into something... else.

      To hell with this UK Muslim.

      May 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  17. peggy

    Please stay in England sir an hope that you are never subject to what a person like this does. Bin Laden's body was treated better than any Muslim killed in 9/11 or anywhere else that Bin Laden killed Muslims and others.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Good post Peggy.

      May 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  18. ConservaFascists

    Whatever man. OBL was buried at sea so it wouldn't be seen across the muslim world that the U.S. didn't honor muslim tradition. The last thing we need is the Arab world characterizing OBL as a martyr.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  19. Ray

    This idiot is living in the 12th century....

    May 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  20. Faux Paws

    This guy is naive. If he thinks the Pentagon was actually trying to fulfill Islamic practices, in any complete way, he's nuts. They DID consult some Islamic experts, and "calculated" how they could do the absolute minimum, before they DUMPED, (not "tipped") him into the ocean. He references the Cairo University group, (as usual,I bet, ALL men), in Egypt, and thinks anybody cares about what they think. I would suggest the Egyptian clerics take a walk around the block, and worry about what's happening in their own country, (and why they were NOT long ago, a part of the Islamic Spring), than to be concerned about what's going on in other parts of the world.

    May 9, 2011 at 1:43 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.