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Muslim community reacts to Osama bin Laden's death

5:43 PM, May 2, 2011   |    comments
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"He ruined our name as Muslims. It's good to get him, finally," Asharf Fares, a Muslim and Denver resident, said.

Many Muslims say one man tarnished their entire belief and religious system.

"He made it look like to the American people all Muslims are like him, and we're not," Salem Salem, another Muslim and Denver resident, said.

Nader Hasemi is a professor of Middle East and Islamic politics at the University of Denver. Hasemi says before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, people knew very little about Muslims.

"There was a sense that somehow bin Laden was a popular heroic figure that Muslims looked to and were inspired by," Hasemi said.

Hasemi believes bin Laden "hijacked the religion" and his death will help Muslims move forward. He also hopes it brings a sense of comfort to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

"It's an important day in the War on Terror," he said.

He also says there is more to be done.

"Let's not fool ourselves that bin Laden was politically responsible for every terrorist action," he said.

While many Muslims are happy bin Laden is dead, many do not agree with how his body was laid to rest. The U.S. government buried his body at sea, saying it did not want a grave to serve as a shrine or a recruitment ground.

But Muslims have very specific burial customs, and the body is always supposed to be buried in the ground unless the person dies at sea.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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