That is not true, of course. But what if it were? Imagine it. A few days after that fatal Sunday, just a couple days after his corpse was respectfully “buried at sea,” according to good Muslim practice, a small coastal town was startled when several young men reported that at dawn a man had washed ashore. At first they assumed he was dead, but then suddenly he groaned once or twice, turned over, coughed the sea water from his lungs, sat up and said, “Salem!” They blinked, looked at each other, and then at him again. His face was disfigured with a massive scar, but they recognized him still. This … was … Bin Laden!
Their coastal town was Muslim, of course, but most were only culturally Muslim. A few of the young men, however, had followed this folk hero and their imaginations had been fired up by his defiant stance against the corrupt West, his courageous acts of holy war against the aggressors, and the thought that his word and promises were true—that a time was coming when Islam would overtake the world, that the wrongs of the centuries perpetrated against Allah’s most faithful would be made right, that a paradise of heavenly and sensual delight awaited those who would defend the honor of Allah and pursue his will to cleanse the world of the enemies of the truth! And, now, with the incontrovertible proof that not even the mightiest nation on earth, the best trained, the most sophisticated war-machine in the world’s history, could stop their hero—perhaps the time he promised was actually now!
Imagine how news of the storied martyr’s survival, no his absolute triumph over the corrupt aggressors, the usurpers of the Prophet’s and Allah’s honor, would spread. Imagine how quickly this “gospel” would go viral. Imagine the breath of new life and hope that would surge throughout the network of Al-Qaida in every part of the world. Envision the eagerness and joy with which young people would find their life’s purpose and goal in joining this movement. Picture how even the ultimate sacrifice would become easy for them to make—as it was with their Martyred Hero whom not even death could stop, so it will be for them. As he promised, paradise awaited. Their blood, along with the blood of all they took with them, would surely only generate more followers and hasten the Day at last.
imagine how long it would take for the movement to be found everywhere—emboldened, hopefully confident, doing whatever it took to express the truth, to embody it, to welcome all who will embrace it, and to be Allah’s instrument of judgment against all who won’t. Imagine how long before some would say, “They have turned the world upside down!”
Of course, it’s not true. Osama Bin Laden is dead and will stay dead.
But, just imagine!