Ellison, Muslim leaders hail elimination of bin Laden

Calling Osama bin Laden a “truly evil man,” Rep. Keith Ellison commended the U.S. military, American intelligence officers and President Obama for the raid yesterday that killed the al Qaeda leader. Meanwhile, Muslim groups also applauded the military raid.

Like his congressional counterparts, Ellison called Sunday’s mission “the most significant accomplishment yet in the war against Al-Qaeda.”

“I commend the work of the U.S. Armed Forces and intelligence community for finding the world’s most wanted terrorist. I also wish to recognize President Obama for his decisive leadership as Commander in Chief,” he wrote in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Today my thoughts are with the families of those Bin Laden murdered in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Even before 9/11, Bin Laden killed Americans and others at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the USS Cole.”

“Americans of all faiths recognized the end of a truly evil man last night,” Ellison, Congress’ first Muslim member, added. “Osama Bin Laden was a murderer. I hope his death marks the beginning of the end of the Al-Qaedaism ideology.”

The Minnesota office of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sent out the national group’s statement to the media today, as well:

We join our fellow citizens in welcoming the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world through the actions of American military personnel. As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, 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. We also reiterate President Obama’s clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam.

Nationally, Muslim groups expressed relief over the success of the mission and extended sympathies to the victims of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks.

“We hope this is a turning point away from the dark period of the last decade, in which bin Laden symbolized the evil face of global terrorism,” said Muslim Public Affairs Council President Salam Al-Marayati. “His actions and those of Al-Qaeda have violated the sacred Islamic teachings upholding the sanctity of all human life. His acts of senseless terror have been met with moral outrage by Muslims worldwide at every turn in the past decade.”

Sharing its “great relief,” Muslims for Progressive Values wrote:

…Osama Bin Laden has singularly disgraced Islam and dragged our faith through the mud with his promotion of terrorism throughout the world from Indonesia, the Middle East, Africa and here in the United States

MPV applauds the resolve and dedication of President Obama in pursuing Osama Bin Laden. As Muslims, we hope this will forever quench the flame of terrorism and that with the rise of democracy throughout the Middle East we can all finally begin to heal. Our condolences continue to go out to the families of those who perished on September 11, 2001 as well as all the victims of terrorism committed in the name of Al Qaeda throughout the world.

Likewise, the Islamic Society of North America shared similar sentiments. ISNA President Imam Magid said in statement:

ISNA joins President Obama and prays that as the nation continues to heal from the devastation inflicted upon them at the hands of Bin Laden, we will turn to each other today, united, and emerge tomorrow with an even stronger resolve to take every action necessary to protect the precious ideals of our nation that Bin Laden attempted to destroy on 9/11: peace, tolerance, respect, and freedom for all.

During his address Sunday night, Obama underscored that America’s war on terror isn’t a war against Islam.

“I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims,” he said. “Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

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