In an open letter, one of bin Laden’s most prominent Saudi mentors, the preacher and scholar Salman al-Oadah, publicly reproached bin Laden for causing widespread mayhem and killing.
“How many innocent children, elderly people, and women have been killed in the name of al-Qaeda?”
“How many people have been forced to flee their homes, and how much blood has been shed in the name of al-Qaeda?”
Although al-Oadah and other senior Muslim scholars condemned the Sept. 11 attacks, until now they had refrained from direct criticism of bin Laden.
Now, with al-Oadah’s new frontal assault on bin Laden, there is no longer any ambiguity.
In his statement in a letter on his website, Islamtoday.com, and in comments on an Arabic television station, al-Oadah holds bin Laden personally accountable for the occupation of Muslim lands in Afghanistan and Iraq, the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the killings of thousands of Afghans, for deluding young Muslims and tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims all over the world.
“Are you happy to meet Allah with this heavy burden on your shoulders?” al-Oadah asks bin Laden. “It is a weighty burden indeed — at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if not millions (displaced and killed). And it is all because of the ‘crimes’ perpetrated against civilians by bin Laden’s al-Qaeda on Sept. 11.”