While nationalism sweeps the US with the death of Bin Laden, Muslim Americans worry bigotry against them will persist.
News of Osama bin Laden’s death has brought a surge of nationalism throughout much of the United States, and the Obama administration is using the event to justify its foreign policy in the Middle East.
Given that al-Qaeda has claimed the lives of far more Arab Muslims than Westerners, many Muslims and Arabs living in the US are relieved that he is gone.
Yet that relief is tempered by the knowledge that bigotry they face is most likely going to remain.
“I hope that his death helps reduce the stereotyping we all face here at times,” Said Alani, an Arab and Muslim who is a college student in New York told Al Jazeera, “But even though the symbol [Osama bin Laden] is dead, and that chapter is closed, I imagine there will still be some people who carry the stereotype on against Muslims in the United States. Osama bin Laden was the symbol of the stereotype, but the stereotype will still exist. I even see people here that call Japanese ‘Japs’ and think that they should be in concentration camps. So even that stereotype is still alive.”
According to the US government, at approximately 1:30 a.m. local time in Pakistan, a US special forces team conducted a helicopter raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the so-called leader of al-Qaeda, where he was staying in a summer resort compound in the town of Abbottabad, roughly 60km north of Islamabad.