Columbus mosque leader responds to bin Laden's burial

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  There are various schools of thoughts emerging over the death of Osama bin Laden and his burial at sea and now, local Islamic leaders are speaking out on the debate.

White House officials insist bin laden's burial at sea followed Islamic practices and if that's the case, the leader of a Columbus mosque is praising how things were handled.

White House officials say Osama bin Laden was given a 40 minute burial ceremony aboard the USS Carl Vinson after he was shot and killed.

Traditional washing of the body was followed by wrapping in it white sheets. A military officer read religious remarks that were translated by a native Arabic speaker, then bin Laden was eased into the Arabian sea.

Despite the fact that some Islamic clerics say burying Osama bin Laden's body at sea violated Islamic law, the leader of a Columbus mosque doesn't object. Yahya Islam is the imam at Masjid An Nur located off Buena Vista Road.

"That just says a lot about the country. We are human and we are humane. We should show humanity to the human family. I think it's wonderful if they did that. I think it's excellent and we applaud the government and our military and also our president for having the wisdom and human concern," he said.

He says a Muslim should have wrapped the body and said the prayer and that the body should have been facing Mecca.

As for the debate over footage of bin Laden's remains and burial being released, the imam believes the images will show the truth.

"For us as Muslims, it'll be good by showing videos of the funeral and the burial, that he did receive proper Islamic burial so in that sense, it would be good."

When asked if the slain terrorist deserved the respect of a proper burial, the imam says it is every person's right to have one no matter what they did. God, he says, has the final say on judgement day.

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