WBEZ | Bin Laden http://www.wbez.org/tags/bin-laden Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Devon Avenue quiet on bin Laden, despite his impact http://www.wbez.org/story/devon-avenue-quiet-bin-laden-despite-his-impact-85977 <p><p>While reaction poured in worldwide the day after President Barack Obama announced the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, voices were muted on the main business artery of Chicago’s Pakistani community. Store owners along Devon Avenue on the city’s far North Side often recount the fallout they experienced after the terrorist attacks nearly a decade ago: namely, a sudden scrutiny by media and police and, perhaps a consequence of that, the decline of business as shoppers turned away to quieter suburban shopping strips.</p><div style="background-color: transparent; "><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; ">Despite the trouble that the terrorist attacks caused them, few Devon merchants and shoppers were willing to share their reactions to bin Laden's death openly. During Monday’s lunch hour, the Hyderabad House Restaurant was serving a healthy crew of men, while televisions blared South Asian music videos.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; "> “I never heard them talking about the situation which is going on,” said employee Naseer Khan. Khan was the single person at the establishment who agreed to be interviewed. “I can say nothing about it, about the situation, what's going on,” he said. “I don't know what's really going on. I'm not a news watcher. I'm not really interested in it.” </span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; ">Sohail Siddiqui at Islamic Books and Things said he watched Mr. Obama’s speech on the television Sunday night. “It's a surprise news that they caught them and they killed them,” he said, “And it's a very surprise news for me, and it's a very good thing.” </span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; ">At a Pakistani restaurant, the host had not heard the news of bin Laden’s death. Many other employees at Devon Avenue stores were aware of the news, but declined to comment.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; ">Jeweler Fazal Ahmedi was an exception, though. The Afghan jeweler beamed as he congratulated the world on bin Laden’s death. “It's a great moment. I'm speechless, honestly,” said Ahmedi. “This guy, he was a monster, to be honest with you,” he continued, referring to bin Laden. Ahmedi left Afghanistan in 1986, but says a cousin was killed there. Ahmedi blames bin Laden’s network of Al Qaeda operatives or the Taliban, whom bin Laden supported. </span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; ">The discovery of bin Laden in Pakistan was also a point of vindication, said Ahmedi. “The Pakistani government was always saying you know, he's in Afghanistan, he's hiding in the mountains,” he said. “We knew it, he was in Pakistan.”</span></div></p> Mon, 02 May 2011 23:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/devon-avenue-quiet-bin-laden-despite-his-impact-85977 Has the U.S. ever announced an assassination like this before? http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-05-02/has-us-ever-announced-assassination-85963 <p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-02/obama.jpg" style="width: 506px; height: 284px;" title=""></p><p>Like most Americans, I watched President Obama’s speech about the death of Osama bin Laden with a certain awe. Obama was unquestionably presidential: solemn but unapologetic; confident but never boastful; straightforward in his message but not overly detailed; patriotic but restrained.</p><p>And yet as I watched I asked aloud: When was the last time, if ever, that an American president has come forth to announce the assassination of an individual?</p><p>Sure, there have been presidential conferences to disclose arrests, to explain invasions in which countless people die, to tell of bombings in foreign lands.</p><p>But can anyone remember a time when the president has stepped up to personally tell the nation about a single kill?</p><p>I don’t question bin Laden’s guilt, nor do I doubt for a moment that this president carried this out for reasons he believes are moral and just. Whatever political gain this may have – and it will, substantial – the risks involved in the scenario were much too great to have entered into it for any such benefit.</p><p>Nor am I in a position to offer the president an alternative scenario, a way this might have gone that’s different or better had a decision been made to keep Bin Laden alive. I may be against killing, but I’m realistic enough to understand its widespread view as a necessity, and I’m too much of a fighter and survivor myself to embrace absolute pacifism.</p><p>So I am conflicted, watching our president, with his confident authority, telling us he has had someone, however despicable and evil, killed in our name.</p><p>Perhaps my feelings are such because Obama’s announcement provoked such Super Bowl style rowdiness outside the White House and throughout the country that no one even thought to discourage. Those faces – most too young to have fully understood 9/11 – still struck me as too fresh and new to understand what it means for a man to die, even this one.</p><p>I tried really hard to hear President Obama: “… we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens …”</p><p>But I couldn’t help but wonder if much of the rest of the world heard that message a little more succinctly: “… we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history.”</p><p>And I wonder too if the combination of those words and that deed didn’t bring a little shudder to people away from our borders, where our might is a wondrous but also a fearsome thing.</p></p> Mon, 02 May 2011 21:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-05-02/has-us-ever-announced-assassination-85963 Muslim Americans react to the death of Osama bin Laden http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-02/muslim-americans-react-death-osama-bin-laden-85922 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-02/NYC Getty Mario Tama.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The news of Bin Laden’s death drew large, celebratory crowds in some major American cities. It was a patriotic moment that gathered thousands across the country of all colors, stripes and religious backgrounds. Among them were many Muslim Americans, who for more than a decade have faced hard times.<br> <br> For local reaction to the news of bin Laden, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to <a href="http://www.ciogc.org/Go.aspx?link=7654381" target="_blank">Ahlam Jbara</a>, associate director of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.</p></p> Mon, 02 May 2011 14:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-02/muslim-americans-react-death-osama-bin-laden-85922