NEWS: Introducing the “Warrior Poet”: Osama Bin Laden

The name of Osama Bin Laden is arguably the most infamous of the twenty-first century. During the 2001, US led invasion of Afghanistan, 1,500 tapes were discovered and removed from al-Qaeda’s headquarters. These tapes dating from the 1960s onwards have been found to contain speeches and sermons by Islamic scholars, as well as recordings of Bin Laden.

The subsequent analysis of these tapes, by Prof. Miller, has revealed Bin Laden as a “skilled poet with clever rhymes and meters, which was one reason why many people taped him and passed recordings around, like pop songs.”

Although, such a disclosure may not sit comfortably within post-9/11 Western attitudes, we should recognise that such poetry is situated within the oral tradition of Islamic culture. Furthermore, Prof. Miller points out that “[t]he violence and barbarism of war can sicken anybody and poetry is a way to frame that violence in higher ethics.”

Read full story in The Times

Related articles:

Views of Jihad Throughout History
By Asma Afsaruddin , University of Notre Dame
(Vol. 1, November 2006)
Religion Compass

Terrorism: September 11, 2001 and its Consequences
By Michael Bauer
From A Companion to International History 1900 – 2001

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