Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"Guilt" by Last Name

Courtesy of Free Muslims Against Terrorism, comes this disturbing article from the April 14th New York Post. It features an interview with a decent young woman living in New York City, who has done absolutely nothing wrong except for sharing the same last name as a murderer:

WAFAH Bin Ladin, who bears that terrifying last name, albeit with a different spelling, came to my home. Long hair, skinny jeans, Yankees cap, no makeup, looking like any 25-year-old New York wannabe singer making showbiz rounds. But so drained, she could barely sip her glass of water.

"It is all so tough for me . . . I just cannot be afraid anymore," said Osama bin Laden's niece, tears streaming down her beautiful face.

"I am lost. I don't fit anywhere. I am American. I want to live here. This is my home. I was born here. God blessed me with this passport of freedom.

Contrary to the rantings of Michael Moore, Wafah makes clear that the bin Laden family is anything but close:

"We are estranged from his entire family since I'm 10. I'm carrying a burden that has nothing to do with me.

"My father, Yeslam, is half brother to Osama. I never met Osama. Never even saw him. My father's father had 22 wives. I have 53 uncles and aunts, 300 cousins. It's way over 400 people. Tons I've never even met. The Bin Ladin family is a village."

Ironically, Wafah's mother is Carmen Bin Ladin, who fled Saudi Arabia with her daughter and has written a powerful memoir of life as a woman in Saudi society. Sadly, many of those whom Wafah has met don't seem to understand this:

"Even here, I am frightened. I'm victimized by association. I stay under the radar, since, because of my name, people here feel I have harmed them. But I can't keep hiding. I can't live this way. I ask nothing but to be accepted in the United States.

That is hardly too much to ask. Ms. Bin Ladin's final words deserve to be quoted in full:

"Please, please tell everyone that I love being an American."

This young woman clearly loves America and everything it stands for. Like so many others, she came here to be free. Her only "crime" is to have a terrorist fanatic as a distant relative. Ms. Bin Ladin bears absolutely no blame for Osama's atrocities, and it is absurd and immoral to act otherwise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why doesn't she change her name? You don't see many Hitler's (or Adolphs for that matter) running around anymore.

11:01 AM  

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