Thursday, January 17, 2008

Omar bin Laden

This is one of those stories that wont make the evening news, but that I found interesting. Osama's son Omar wants to be a peace activist:

CAIRO, Egypt — Omar Osama bin Laden bears a striking resemblance to his notorious father _ except for the dreadlocks that dangle halfway down his back. Then there's the black leather biker jacket.

The 26-year-old does not renounce his father, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he said there is better way to defend Islam than militancy: Omar wants to be an "ambassador for peace" between Muslims and the West.

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."

Not sure that it will have any impact, but I think it's certainly worth talking to him. If nothing else, he has an interesting perspective.

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