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Friday, December 23, 2005

Osama bin Laden's Niece Poses for GQ.

I guess that's marginally interesting, and I suppose it would be more significant if her father were one of Osama's brothers instead of one of his half-brothers. It isn't unsurprising that Osama, being one of 50+ children borne of his father's four wives, would hold some dramatically different views from some, or more probably many, of his siblings and half-siblings. That being said, I feel that this story is far from insignificant. Specifically, this story is significant for showing the diversity of opinion and belief within the various Muslim communities throughout the world.

Wafah Dufour is a California-born musician and law school graduate who currently resides in New York. Her father, Yeslam Binladen, has intentionally changed the spelling of his surname to distance himself from his half-brother, and he gained Swiss citizenship in 2001. He has been but one of Osama's siblings to condemn the actions of world's most wanted terrorist. Wafah Dufour changed her surname to her mother's maiden name to further distance herself from her uncle.

I thank and applaud Ms. Dufour for her courage and her willingness to show another side of Western Islam, one with which many of us may not be as familiar. Also, I offer my most sincere condolences to her. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that she has faced knowing that she's related in any way, no matter how distantly, to that monster. It's bad enough when someone commits an act of evil, but it's so much worse when it's a member of your family, even an estranged family member.


Snave said...

I can't imagine she will fare too well among the more fanatic believers after the photo spread... I can still remember how Salman Rushdie became a marked man after writing "The Satanic Verses".

Agreed, she should be applauded for what she has done. And I can't agree more about having to deal with being related to Osama...

I am bothered by something far less significant than that, which is that I am a distant relative of LBJ... he was something like a second cousin fourteen times removed, or some such silly thing... but the fact is, I'm related to him. He who used to require people to listen to what he had to say while he was in the public stall, taking a shit... arrrrgh. I know, he was a Democrat like I am, but he remains one of my least favorite politicians.

Clinton P. Desveaux said...

Too think Bin Laden who claims to be a religious man would do what he complains is wrong with us in the West and harvest 50 children...I wonder if the prick is dead or hiding somewhere in Pakistan in the mountains on the border region?

1138 said...

Please expain how it is worse when it's a half uncles brother?

Are you saying it's like the Mudd name?

By the way western spellings of arabic names are all over the place because of the difference in alphabets and phonetics.

I recall about 30 different spellings for Muammar Al Ghaddafi.

1138 said...

"He who used to require people to listen to what he had to say while he was in the public stall, taking a shit"

Snave this is an unacceptable statement

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

1138, they still share a common ancestor within the last three generations. Personally, that's where I start to draw the line at embarassment at relatives' antics, because at least some members of her family are alive who remember that ancestor. OBL is her half-uncle, and if I had any half-uncles, I'd damned sure care about what they did if it reflected poorly on the family. I wouldn't feel any personal responsibility, but I would feel remorse and shame if one happened to be a monster. Frankly, there are relatives for whom I have nothing positive to say who are merely guilty of being self-involved assholes.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

The bit about Ms. Dufour's father's surname being spelled Binladin was indicated in that article as a conscious attempt to distinguish himself from his half-brother, and was not based on the often widely-varying phoneticizations from other languages and alphabets into English. I haven't quite seen 30 spellings of Qadafi's name, but I've seen more than a few, so I do see your point.