Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Son Had, spokesman for Jema'ah Ansharut Tauhid, the Islamic group founded by Indonesian firebrand Abu Bakar Bashir, said it was clear that bin Laden had become a martyr.

"In Islam, a man who fighting for sharia will earn the highest title for mankind other than a prophet, that is a martyr. Osama is a fighter for Islam, for sharia."

But for many Muslim leaders the greater concern was bin Laden's burial at sea, not land. His body was taken to an aircraft carrier where U.S. officials said it was buried at sea, according to Islamic rites.

I.A. Rehman, an official with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said it was more important than the issue of how bin Laden was killed.

"The fact that he was not armed is a smaller thing...There will be more focus on whether he was buried in an Islamic way. There has been reaction from Islamic clerics that he was not properly buried and this will be discussed for some time."

Saudi Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obaikan, an adviser to the Saudi Royal Court, was more direct.

"That is not the Islamic way. The Islamic way is to bury the person in land (if he has died on land) like all other people."

Amidhan, a member of Indonesia's Ulema Council (MUI), the highest Islamic authority in the world's biggest Muslim society, said he was more concerned about the burial that the killing.

"Burying someone in the ocean needs extraordinary situation. Is there one?," he told Reuters.

"If the U.S. can't explain that, then it appears just like dumping an animal and that means there is no respect for the man ... and what they did can incite more resentment among Osama's supporters."

(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington, Michael Perry in Sydney, Alistair Scrutton in New Delhi, Rebecca Conway in Islamabad, Olivia Rondonwu in Jakarta, Aaron Gray-Block in Amsterdam; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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