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Mahatma Gandhi and Osama Bin Laden - Opposing Extremes

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Mahatma Gandhi and Osama Bin Laden are two very different people. They have vastly different perspectives on life. One could say they are opposites of each other. Their thinking couldn’t be more different. While one stands for violence, the other stands for peace. One controls people through fear, and the other encourages people through peace and justice. While one starts conflict, the other stops it. This is what separates them from each other. Good and bad people exist all over the world, but some are more extreme than others. Gandhi and Bin Laden represent two such extremes.

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Gandhi is a well-respected man. Gandhi tells us “the person who uses non- violence is blessed.” Gandhi began the independence movement in India based on non-violence. Gandhi is humble and wise. His manner of speech says a lot about his personality. His wording is impressive. For example, even though Bin Laden was a terrorist, and killed many people, Gandhi stills refers to him as “my brother Osama.” These words are calming and humbling even to the most argumentative person. This shows how much respect Gandhi has for other people and that he isn’t judgmental. During a dialogue between Gandhi and Bin Laden, Gandhi described the destruction that Bin Laden and his people did. Even though he knew that Bin Laden was the architect of the destruction, Gandhi still said “they.” He didn’t want to directly accuse Osama Bin Laden for everything. Gandhi said there’s “no point of apportioning blame, but we have a duty to acknowledge the full truth of the past and resolve never to repeat it.” He says this in such a way that the other person may feel guilty without being directly accused.

On the other hand, Osama bin Laden is a known terrorist, and his people have attacked several cities and taken many innocent lives. As Bin Laden said himself in the Osama and Gandhi dialogue, “my followers attacked the American Embassy, the USS Cole in Yemen, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.” It sounds as if he’s proud of what he did. His words show no signs of guilt. Bin Laden said, “They were declared enemies and should be hunted and killed like wild animals.” This is extremely harsh. No matter how bad a person is he shouldn’t be killed like an animal. These innocent people have done nothing to Bin Laden or his people, so why should they pay for their government’s crimes?

My whole life I knew a lot about Osama Bin Laden but not much about Gandhi. This class gives me more knowledge and more open mind about him. On the other hand, I have been told about Bin Laden a lot. I have been called names, as in terrorist. People were so raceist that they even says that my uncle is Osama. Being called all these things just makes you want to know who that person is. Who is Osama Bin Laden? Why do people call me with names like terrorist? When your being referred as someone you seen to have interest in them and see who they really are.

In the conversation with Osama and Gandhi, there were things that I didn’t like that Gandhi said and something’s that Osama said. Osama was talking about what he wants achieve, for example nuclear weapons and ect…. In response Gandhi said “only terrorist violence can achieve these goals” I think that there should be more to that response. Violence is not the only things that help him achieve his goals. Gandhi achieved his goals with nonviolence. His people were killed, harassed, but no one strikes back. “An eye for an eye will make the world blind.”

Even though Osama and Gandhi have really different concepts and thinking, they could still have a lot of similarities and shared beliefs. Osama and Gandhi were really concerned about their religion. Some people just take it to the extent. Osama said “all the prophets’ and his followers used violence.” So? There situation and time was totally different. I am a Muslim too, I was never told to use violence. They always though me to forgive and forget and to not strike back. So this ties Gandhi in this too because he said once again “eye for an eye will make the world blind”. This is exactly what I was thought but in a different way.

Between Osama and Gandhi, Gandhi stands out the most. His uniqueness really separates him from Osama. In the essay Osama explains himself by saying that “the US attacks’ there wealth, oil, religion and dignity and call us terrorist, when we are only defending ourselves against their terrorism.” In other words he’s not excepting his mistakes of the terrorist attacks. Even Gandhi says he doesn’t want to argue with hm. If a man like Gandhi could of lead a whole group of people without violence, and still achieve his goals, there should be no there problem with him doing the same. First step of getting on the right path is admitting your mistakes which Osama didn’t do.

Gandhi is a great person to admire and have as a role model. He achieved many great goals and done things more for others than him self. Through his text and writings I noticed that he mentions religion. Osama also mentions his religion a lot. Is it religion that is causing these problems? Is it that Muslims are better than any other religion? Well, actually religion is causing these wars. Back in the days it took only a spark between religions to start a fight and many innocent live were lost. Even now, some people who are really against a religion or believe that one religion is more dangerous than the other say little things and start a fire. For example a while ago someone posted a controversial video about Muslim, and there religion and it started a huge fight in the Islamic countries. It wasn’t a smart idea. People have this wrong mentality about Muslims and how each one is being trained to become terrorism. Gandhi didn’t have that. Gandhi thought practicing your religion is your right but taking it to the extreme and killing innocent lives with out a reason. And when asked for a reason, religion is what people think it is. I have a personal experience about this.

I use to go for Islamic studies were they teach us more about our religion and go in depth. Also they teach us the Quran and the right way to pray. So we really practice and learn our religion. Couple of times cops came in and started to search the place and ask question like what are you doing? They were suspicious about this religion. They thought we were practice and being trained for terrorism. Going in to a public religious school and search they like that is wrong. Muslims are though the same values that other people teach there kids. But 2 out of a hundred take it to the extreme. They would take the meaning in the wrong way and do something like terrorism. That’s why Gandhi said “A religiously based state is a sacrilege, an insult to god and the human soul.” Gandhi really understands this and the power of the religions. Go ahead practice your religion live by the values and beliefs. Osama thinks that violence is what will help him achieve his goals. His goals are more to concur and have power over territory.

Once again Gandhi and Osama are really different people. To me Gandhi is a role module. His actions had united people and his words have given people second thoughts. My favorite quote from him is “an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”. That really stood out to me, because in first I didn’t understand it. Its not a normal sentence which you just read it fast and not notice it. You have to think a little bit about it to understand it. Well on the other hand Osama really creeps me out. When I hear people talking about Osama, I am pretty sure there going to think about me and my religion. Most of the time it happened. Obama also really admired Gandhi. He used his quote many times, actually more than anyone else. The quote he uses is “intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” He said this in his speech when the great spark started against Islam in the Islamic world.

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