Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bin Laden Wants Peace


Not the bin Laden of obvious fame, rather his son, Omar Osama bin Laden. Apparently he's supplied a good deal of fodder for British tabloids since his marriage to a woman literally twice his age.

Omar - one of bin Laden's 19 children - raised a tabloid storm last year when he married a 52-year-old British woman, Jane Felix-Browne, who took the name Zaina Alsabah. Now the couple say they want to be advocates, planning a 3,000-mile horse race across North Africa to draw attention to the cause of peace.

"It's about changing the ideas of the Western mind. A lot of people think Arabs - especially the bin Ladens, especially the sons of Osama - are all terrorists. This is not the truth," Omar told the AP last week at a cafe in a Cairo shopping mall.

Of course, many may have a hard time getting their mind around the idea of "bin Laden: peacenik."

"Omar thinks he can be a negotiator," said Alsabah, who is trying to bring her husband to Britain. "He's one of the only people who can do this in the world."
Omar lived with the al-Qaida leader in Sudan, then moved with him to Afghanistan in 1996. There, Omar says he trained at an al-Qaida camp but in 2000 he decided there must be another way and he left his father, returning to his homeland of Saudi Arabia.
"I don't want to be in that situation to just fight. I like to find another way and this other way may be like we do now, talking," he said in English.

Despite his want for peace the young bin Laden remains seemingly ambivalent to his father's violent pursuit of jihad and further, imagines a truce between the west and AQ.

"My father thinks he will be good for defending the Arab people and stop anyone from hurting the Arab or Muslim people any place in the world," he said, noting that the West didn't have a problem with his father when he was fighting the Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Omar is convinced a truce between the West and al-Qaida is possible.

"My father is asking for a truce but I don't think there is any government (that) respects him. At the same time they do not respect him, why everywhere in the world, they want to fight him? There is a contradiction," he said.