Now wait a minute. It is an unquestionable dogma in the mainstream media in the West, even in “conservative” circles, that Osama bin Laden was a misunderstander of Islam — indeed, the world’s foremost misunderstander of Islam, a twister and hijacker of the Religion of Peace who actually misunderstood it in a way that led him to think that it mandated warfare against Infidels. So entrenched is the dogma that in 2007 I was in Berlin, speaking at a conference sponsored by the U.S. State Department and German Foreign Ministry, and got into a conversation with a State Department official who referred in passing to the jihad terrorists as “Muslims.” Then, embarrassed, he stopped himself and said, “Well, I shouldn’t call them ‘Muslims’…”
And his embarrassment and self-correction is shared by virtually all of American officialdom; if anything, it is even more entrenched now than it was in 2007. But in Pakistan, our friend and ally, not only is bin Laden not regarded as a misunderstander of Islam, but so revered is he in Islamic circles that now a library consisting entirely of Islamic books has been named after him.
American officials, however, are certain not to ponder the implications of this. Instead, they will continue to cling to their dogma, no matter how disconfirmed by the facts it becomes.
An Islamic seminary for women in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad has renamed its library after Osama Bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda chief.
The Jamia Hafsa Madrassa is linked to the Red Mosque, known for its alleged links with militants.
A paper sign on one of the doors proclaims Bin Laden a “Shahid” (martyr). Bin Laden was killed in a raid by US commandos in 2011.
Pakistani troops raided the mosque in 2007. Dozens died later in clashes.
The BBC’s Shumaila Jaffrey in Islamabad says there are no chairs or any table in the library – just two computers on the floor.
The library is in a huge complex in the heart of Islamabad, part of which is still being built.
A spokesman for the madrassa said the new name was a tribute to Bin Laden, who was “a hero”.
The chief cleric there is Maulana Abdul Aziz. He warned that “if the government makes madrassas and mosques its target then Sharia (Islamic law) allows us to retaliate – if anyone will be harsh with us, they should not expect flowers in return”.
He also uses the library as his office. It has about 2,000 books – all of them related to Islam.
There are books about Sharia, Jihad and interpretations of the Koran in Arabic, Urdu and English, our correspondent reports.