Saturday 16 December 2017

Bin Laden's hypocrisy is like our own

The public appetite for salacious scandal has us gripped in an indignant epidemic, says Julia Molony

Did Osama Bin Laden really have a secret pornography stash, or is that morsel of news too good to be true?

Like the suggestion that he used a woman as a human shield, no piece of gossip could be more damaging to Osama's posthumous reputation. To those who revered him, Bin Laden was not a man but the embodiment of an ideal, a beacon of jihadist purity. His moral authority came from a sense of ethical purity.

But now, with this revelation, the suggestion of hypocrisy has intruded into his legend. If Osama was indeed not simply a living emblem but a human being with needs and, like the rest of us, failures of discipline, it makes a mockery of his cause, his arrogant self-declared mandate to pursue his claim to the high moral ground, to the point of death.

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