Passionate Faith after Bin Ladin


We cannot ignore the fact that despite his convoluted and obscene faith, Bin Laden was a man of passion. Passion has great power, and his passion attracted many, especially when compared to the complacency –and often dry and lifeless faith – of the Western world … Like that of the man who replied to the question: What is worse ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care…

One thing you cannot accuse Osama bin Laden of is apathy.

Born to a billionaire father, a child of privilege and luxury, bin Laden could have easily chosen the comfortable path of indulgence and opulence. Yet, he rejected the powerful connections his family had to the royal Saudi family, and went off into exile, impassioned by the ideology of destroying infidels and conquering the world for Islam.

As misplaced as his beliefs may have been, Bin Laden was a man of passion, and he inspired passion in others. According to all accounts, Bin Laden was a gentle man, and his soldiers have told researchers that meeting him was a deeply spiritual experience. They said he took care to avoid giving offense and to forgive transgressors. And yet, in the name of faith, he engineered the cruel death of many innocent people.

Spiritual passion, even if completely distorted, should never beunderestimated. And certainly it is clear that complacency – even the most civil and refined – is no match for it.

What we can learn from Bin Laden is the need for healthy passion in our lives – a passion directed at creating a spiritual revolution that transforms the universe with kindness and empathy.

The violence perpetrated by Bin Laden around the world offers us an unprecedented opportunity to wake ourselves up from complacency and embrace a zealous battle for justice and truth. Not as murderous zealots but as zealots for peace who will rise and defy conventional thinking.