Amid the justified celebrations over the killing of Osama bin Laden, an awkward question is starting to rear its head: Did U.S. policymakers err in burying the al Qaeda leader at sea?
Already, the decision has provoked criticism from some Islamic scholars, who say a maritime burial isn't in keeping with Muslim law. And there are signs that the move could help fuel skepticism, especially among President Obama's critics, about whether bin Laden was really killed at all.
The Pentagon has said
the body was treated in accordance with traditional Islamic procedures--including washing the corpse--before it was placed in the waters of the northern Arabian Sea.
U.S. officials have said
they wanted to avoid the al Qaeda leader's grave site becoming a shrine for his followers. They've also said it would have been difficult to find a foreign country willing to accept bin Laden's remains, especially in so short a time: Islamic tradition and practice call for the body of the deceased to be buried within 24 hours of death.
But several Muslim authorities said today that the sea burial in fact violated Muslim tradition--and warned that it could help trigger calls for revenge from militant Muslims.
The sea burial "runs contrary to the principles of Islamic laws, religious values and humanitarian customs," Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand Imam of Cairo's al-Azhar mosque, told the AP
And Mohammed al-Qubaisi, Dubai's grand mufti, echoed that view. "If the family does not want him, it's really simple in Islam: You dig up a grave anywhere, even on a remote island, you say the prayers and that's it."
He added: "Sea burials are permissible for Muslims in extraordinary circumstances," he added. "This is not one of them."
And Abdul-Sattar al-Janabi, who preaches at Baghdad's Abu Hanifa mosque declared: "It is not acceptable, and it is almost a crime to throw the body of a Muslim man into the sea," adding that the action "might provoke some Muslims."
But the religious verdict may not be quite that open and shut. Imam Shamsi Ali, of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, told The Lookout that in emergency circumstances, any Islamic law can be overlooked. "For example, you're not allowed to eat pork," he said, but added that if you were starving to death, it would be considered acceptable. Ali said that because the United States appears to have been unable to find a country to take bin Laden's body within 24 hours, this might have qualified as such an emergency.
Islamic practices aside, the decision is already triggering conspiracy theories that cast doubt on whether bin Laden is truly dead--even though DNA testing is said to have confirmed
with virtual certainty that the al Qaeda leader was indeed killed. An assertion by Pakistan's Taliban
that bin Laden is still living was picked up on several users of the conservative website FreeRepublic.com. In addition, one writer on the Andrew Breitbart website Big Peace called for
bin Laden's body to be"digitally scanned" so that Americans could verify his death for themselves. On Twitter, Emily Miller, an editor at the conservative Washington Times,demanded a photo
of the body as "proof."
Skepticism could only increase in some quarters if the Obama administration declines to release photos of bin Laden's body. No decision has yet been made on that question, according to White House counter-terror adviser John Brennan, who said this afternoon
that doing so could jeopardize future operations.
(In an image taken from a video broadcast, Dec. 24, 1998, Osama bin Laden spoke during an interview at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.: ABC News/AP)
Whitney Houston's 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown may be in trouble
It's no secret that Houston has had her own battles with drug
addiction after much personal-turned-public turmoil and a stint in rehab in the
early 2000s. But following photos
surfaced of Bobbi Kristina snorting cocaine, Houston is stepping up and stepping
According to the National Enquirer
, in an
attempt to save her adolescent daughter from repeating her own mistakes, the
47-year-old mama has reportedly canceled Bobbi Kristina's 18th birthday
celebration at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, is taking back the Lexus she
gifted her daughter and is sending her straight to rehab.
both made public statements denying they were in a lesbian
relationship after being dogged by Internet rumors. Started by a gossip
that claimed exclusive information from "an insider," many
other online outlets picked up the rumor and reported that Hilson was seduced by
Elliott and "may have even been in love."
Hilson was the first to rebuke
the reports. In a Twitter message, she blasted the people that run such gossip
sites and clarified that her relationship with Elliott was more of an
acquaintance than even a friend. "Lies," she tweeted.
"How do those ppl sleep at night? I love and respect Missy and her work, but
we've never worked [together] and I've probably seen her five times in my life
Missy then responded to Hilson, claiming that the report was a
complete lie. "Girl, it amazes me how we never worked together, and barely know
each other, but they make up a full out lie," Elliott wrote.
If there's any silver living from yet another vicious
online media stunt, maybe it will drive Hilson and Elliott to actually hit the
studio together. We think Keri's R&B stylings might form a perfect hook for
the return of Missy to the mic.
is opening up about his new relationship with former Crime Mob
. The twosome have already made headlines
after photos of them getting extra close hit the 'Net.
In an interview with Atlanta radio station 107.9, the 20-year-old made it official. "You already know how that go," he explained. "What's another man's trash is another man's treasure. Me and shorty rocking, straight like that."
Diamond also chimed in on the call, "Yeah it's official," she added, but refused to divulge any other details.
The female rapper's last relationship with Scrappy stirred up some controversy recently due to his mother having more than a few choice words for Diamond, badmouthing her in interviews. However, Scrappy seems to be taking the break-up pretty well. The Atlanta native called into the same radio station Soulja Boy used to confirm his fling with Scrappy's ex, slamming rumors that Diamond cheated on him with the younger rapper http://www.allhiphop.com/stories/rumors/archive/2011/04/26/22692060.aspx
“Usher has been making moves on Rihanna, and she seems to like him a lot,
revealed an insider.
“He calls her at least twice a day and they text all the time – he tells her
how beautiful she is and that he can’t wait to show her how a woman is supposed
to be treated” Despite their mutual attraction, Rihanna wants to take things
slowly with Usher.
“Even though they are very interested in each other, Rihanna refuses to be
seen in public with him in a romantic setting until his divorce is final
because he doesn’t want any drama with Tameka.”http://www.therundown.tv/headlines/rumors/rihanna-and-usher-secretly-dating/