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  • MAN: It's impossible to understand

  • Bin Laden without reference to his religious beliefs.

  • This was a guy who, when he was a teenager,

  • was praying seven times a day, fasting twice a week.

  • On the other hand, he was also a mass murderer.

  • What was his relationship to religion?

  • [music playing]

  • Given how religious Bin Laden saw himself,

  • it's not a surprise there's a lot of religious material

  • on these drives.

  • How great is our last panel, [inaudible]..

  • [non-english singing]

  • MAN: He would often recite verses

  • from the Quran in his letters.

  • He would refer to sayings of the prophet Muhammad

  • in his speeches.

  • He thinks he's religious.

  • He thinks he was doing the right thing.

  • But he was not a religious authority.

  • He was not a graduate of a seminary

  • or any kind of traditional religious training.

  • And so we have someone who's a non-specialist making

  • unorthodox interpretations of the faith,

  • because he actually starts by acknowledging that Islam

  • prohibits the killing of noncombatants in warfare,

  • but then goes on to explain, in his mind,

  • why the political situation that we are living in

  • allows him to violate that rule.

  • What he did was to use political justifications

  • to violate a religious edict.

  • [non-english singing]

  • MAN: This homemade video found on the hard drives

  • begins, as many of these al-Qaeda videos do,

  • by quoting a religious verse with chanting in tandem,

  • and then the message becomes clearer.

  • We hit the United States, and we scared them.

  • Then inevitably, Bin Laden himself speaks,

  • preaching to his followers.

  • And I think it's a really telling piece of propaganda,

  • how it weaves together religious imagery

  • to superimpose them on the tactics

  • and actions of al-Qaeda.

  • This homemade propaganda was crude.

  • But tragically, it was also effective.

  • He was using religion as a tool.

  • [non-english singing]

  • It's a means to control people, to make people do

  • whatever you want them to do.

  • And the ends justify the means, like any psychopath

  • can justify anything.

  • I mean, at one point, he actually told his commanders,

  • don't shy away from shedding blood.

  • You know, if you look at the crusade,

  • do you think Christianity is a crusade?

  • No.

  • The same thing-- it's people using religion

  • to obtain political goals.

  • I think it's tragic that we let

  • a criminal define the religion of 1.8 billion people.

  • We would never take the word of the KKK to define Christianity.

  • It would be ludicrous.

  • It would be offensive.

  • If the Quran is a recipe book and it

  • called for a tablespoon of sugar in the recipe,

  • and extremists would read that and put a cup of sugar

  • instead--

  • so taking what the Quran says and taking it to its extreme.

  • Bin Laden didn't do that.

  • He read in the Quran, you need a tablespoon of sugar.

  • And instead, he put a cup of cyanide.

  • That's not an extremist.

  • That's a deviant revisionist.

  • Bin Laden's view of his religion and violence

  • extended to his own family.

  • Terrorism was the family calling,

  • and he was willing to sacrifice even those closest to him

  • for his self-styled holy war.

  • [non-english speech]

MAN: It's impossible to understand

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Using Religion As A Tool | Bin Laden’s Hard Drive

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/01
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