Arab World, Now It's Your Move After bin Laden

It's time to defeat bin Ladenism once and for all: Thomas Friedman
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 1:28 PM CDT
In this citizen journalism image taken on a mobile phone and acquired by the AP, Syrians gather in the coastal city of Banias, Syria, on April 29.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – It took 10 years, but the US finally killed Osama bin Laden. Now the Arab and Muslim world has a daunting task of its own, writes Thomas Friedman: "Kill bin Ladenism." Protesters from Tunisia to Syria have repudiated his doctrine of violence, and their progress is promising. "The question now, though, is: Can the forces of decency get organized, elected and start building a different Arab future?" writes Friedman in the New York Times. "That is the most important question. Everything else is noise."

Friedman says the only upside to bin Laden's 10 years' of freedom is that he lived long enough to see young Arabs reject his view. But that's only a start. "All we can hope for is that this time there really will be a struggle of ideas—that in a region where extremists go all the way and moderates tend to just go away, this time will be different," he writes. "If that happens, both bin Laden and bin Ladenism will be resting at the bottom of the ocean." Click to read more of the day's bin Laden stories. (Read more Osama bin Laden stories.)

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