Dozens of Arab residents hold rally in support of assassinated al-Qaeda leader in east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood; meanwhile, bin Laden’s burial at sea prompts Muslim rage, Egypt imam says US violated Islamic custom
Yair Altman and Reuters
Published: 05.03.11, 00:55 / Israel News
Arab support for terror chief: Dozens of Arab residents held a rally in support of assassinated al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood Monday evening.
Some of the participants at the site hurled stones at Israel Police forces deployed in the area. Police officers responded with crowd dispersal means.
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No reports of injuries or detainees were received following the rally.
Notably, bin Laden made various statements over the years in support of the Palestinians and against Israel.
In the past he declared that muslims were engaged in a war against Jews, and in March 2010 he slammed the United States for “its support of Israel and the ongoing occupation in Palestine.”
Muslim anger over sea burial
Meanwhile, news of Bin Laden’s sea burial ignited Muslim outcry worldwide, raising the possibility of wide backlash despite the apparent care the US military gave to his last rites.
A prominent imam in Egypt, Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb, said the US violated Islamic custom by not burying bin Laden on land, a move seen as a US attempt to prevent his resting place from becoming a shrine for extremist followers.
Islamist lawyer Montasser al-Zayat said bin Laden should have been buried in his native Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites. The US said earlier that Saudi officials refused to accept the body for burial.
Instead, bin Laden’s body was transported to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, which brought him to his final resting place somewhere in the north Arabian Sea.
“The burial of bin Laden’s remains was done in strict conformance with Islamist precepts and practices,” said John Brennan, US President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser.
“The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker,” the US official said. “After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased’s body eased into the sea.”