'Osama was misusing the name of Islam'
Leading Islamic clerics in Lucknow on Monday hailed the elimination of Osama Bin Laden as a "major blow to terrorism" and a sigh of relief for billions of peace loving people.
Lucknow's Naib Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed, who also heads the city's oldest Islamic seminary -- Firangi Mahal, said, "This is a clear cut victory of peace loving forces against those who were busy preaching and propagating terrorism across the world."
Coverage: US hunts down Osama bin Laden
The Maulana said, "Osama was misusing the name of Islam to pursue his personal agenda. Anyone familiar with the basic teaching of Islam would vouch that this religion firmly believes in peace and is vehemently opposed to violence and terrorism. Yet this man continued to thrive as some kind of self-proclaimed custodian of Islam."
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'US could have killed Osama any time it wanted'
According to the Maulana, "Laden's killing would also bring much respite to all those who had suffered on account of his indiscriminate actions, which rendered hundreds and thousands of innocents as orphans."
Hailing Osama's end as a major victory against terrorism, renowned Shia scholar and cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawaad termed Osama Bin Laden wondered if it would really go a long way in bringing an end to terrorism.
"After all, the manner in which Laden was allowed to grow -- with underhand patronage of none other than the United States -- it would be too simplistic to assume that his entire Al Qaeda empire would crumble behind him in a split second," the Maulana sought to point out.
Not ready to rule out an American game behind the gunning down of Laden, he said, "The US was always fully aware of his whereabouts and could have killed him any time it wanted. I have reason to believe that the US have some axe to grind."
'Osama came in handy to US for giving Islam a bad name'
According to him, "Laden came in handy to US for giving Islam a bad name even though most of his attacks targeted a large majority of innocent Muslims, including women and children. Therefore, he did not deserve to live."
However, Hisam Siddiqui, editor of a well known local Urdu weekly Jadid Markaz felt, "It should not be US President Barack Obama's privilege to now declare that he had done justice to Laden."
Siddiqui asked, "Does Obama consider himself to be the chief justice of the world or some kind of a global king that he takes it upon himself to proclaim that he had imparted justice."
'US must initiate some action against Pakistan'
Siddiqui further sought to point out, "After all it was none other than the United States which pushed and promoted networks -- like the one created by Laden -- initially to fight its war against the erstwhile Soviet Union. Therefore, I would wish to ask Obama if he was ready to prescribe some action against all those who fuelled terrorism from the backdoor."
While welcoming the killing of Osama, retired army colonel Fasih Uddin Ahmed wanted to know why the US repeatedly ignored India's assertions about Pakistan harbouring the world's most wanted terrorist.
"Time and again, India sought to emphasise that Osama was being accorded shelter in Pakistan, but the US continue to turn a deaf ear," he said, adding, "Sure enough, no international terrorist of that level could survive in any country without an express nod of those sitting at the helm of affairs. It was therefore important for US to initiate some action against Pakistan."