Why was so much care taken in Osama's burial?

5:24 AM, May 3, 2011   |    comments
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Dec. 24, 1998 file photo of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.


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  • Islamic Society of Tampa Bay
  • Tampa, Florida - Osama bin Laden's burial at sea is raising some eyebrows around the world and in the Tampa Bay area. Some are wondering why the U.S. went through so much trouble to respect his Muslim traditions after his death when he's responsible for thousands of deaths.

    Pictures: Osama Bin Laden dead


    In the Muslim faith, they believe it's more important to pray for the dead and ask God to forgive them no matter how they may have lived their lives.

    Dr. Mohammad Sultan says Muslims have practiced those strict Islamic burial traditions for the past 1,400 years. Dr. Sultan is one of three imam's who serve as spiritual leaders guiding prayers held five times a day at the Tampa mosque at the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay.

    Sultan says in Islam burial is very important. "The deceased should be buried as soon as he dies - within 24 hours."

    U.S. officials say they handled bin Laden's body according to most of those strict Muslim traditions, which include washing the body and shrouding it in cloth. The body is supposed to be transferred to a mosque to be prayed over before it's buried in the ground.

    But bin Laden's burial was a bit different. He was buried at sea. Sultan says, "In 99 percent of the cases, you bury in the ground. If a person is traveling in a ship and he dies, you put him between two pieces of wood and you throw him in the sea."

    The U.S. says it buried bin Laden in the North Arabian Sea within the timeline. The U.S. did not want a burial site on land that  could have become a shrine honoring him.

    Still, some people disagree with the U.S. taking such great care to bury Osama at sea because he killed thousands of people during the September 11th attack. He also killed many Muslims.

    Troy Vuurens lives in the Bay area and says,"The end results all the same, that's all I care about [that] he's swimming with the fishes now and that's good enough for me."

    Tom Ostrander says, "The Americans pay more attention to respecting someone's religion and their dignity despite of what he did to the United States and I don't have any problem with that."

    Nicole Lepetsos adds, "Justice is served. There's no reason to stoop so low as to not go with the tradition."

    Speaking of tradition, the U.S. could have shipped bin Laden's body back to his birthplace of Saudi Arabia so he could be buried in the ground there but the government there refused. 





    Tammie Fields, 10 News

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