Osama bin Laden means well. This is evident from his declarations, juridical decrees, lectures, epistles, and written reminders, which Bruce Lawrence has made available in Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden (2005; hereafter referred to by the page numbers in parentheses) a single volume. Duty, Osama claims, compels Muslims' support for jihad against the ‘Crusader–Jewish Alliance’ (7, 23). But many attack his goals and behavior as immoral. Initiatives he has supported or directed represent his strategy for fulfilling his duty and demonstrate its apparent immorality at the same time: notably, attacks on U.S. embassies, the 9/11 attacks, and more recently an alleged plot to detonate hydrogen peroxide bombs in public transportation venues. Moreover, his willingness to kill innocents generally is self-evidently wrong, as is his blanket hatred of Jews, Americans, and Christians (56, 87); although on one occasion he has declared that ‘many in the West are polite and good people’ (142).
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