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If you’ve followed the recent round of Zen scandals, you might enjoy this short satirical piece from Tricycle’s features editor, Andrew Cooper. If some of the references don’t add up, you can start here or here to find out more.
Sounds Vaguely Familiar
Investigators of the pornography found stored on computers at Osama Bin Laden’s compound have also found documents telling of the Al Qaeda leader’s long history of problems with such material. In a pattern that goes back many years, the terrorist mastermind has been forced on a number of occasions to abandon one base of operations and find another when disillusioned followers became aware of his abuse of his position as head of an international organization of violent religious fanatics. As a spiritual man who has numerous wives and more than seventy virgins believed to be waiting for him in heaven, Bin Laden’s possession of pornography was seen by many as a violation of the trust placed in him as a mass murderer.
The investigators have found that, in fact, Bin Laden had previously confessed to his misdeeds and expressed grave remorse for the pain it had caused his family, friends, and jihadists around the world. On one occasion, Bin Laden claimed he would resign as head of Al Qaeda, though he said he would continue to give his personal support to those who “wage holy war against Crusaders and Zionists”. Then, in startling turn that sent shockwaves throughout the terrorist world, Bin Laden, after just a month, resumed his position as Al Qaeda chief. An open letter from 66 leading terrorists, representing all schools of violent Islamic extremism, called on Bin Laden to honor his commitment to not lead others in jihad for at least a year and to undergo counseling with a qualified therapist.
Bin Laden responded to the letter publicly, saying that such displays of disunity made “the whole jihadist movement look bad” in the eyes of the world, and he dismissed his critics for being “jealous of my success”. He said that he had come to understand that the pornography was “really just a symptom of the stress of my mission of annihilating everyone I disagree with”, and that, because of the many demands on his time and attention, “sometimes I just needed a little ‘me’ time”. His supporters in his compound said they would continue to follow him, but that they recognized that he was, as one man said, “a human being, just like the rest of us”. Although he has made his share of mistakes, his followers maintained that the charismatic Bin Laden still had great gifts as a mass murderer and fundraiser.