Don Holsinger, professor of history and SPU's Middle East specialist, said his emotional response is tempered by recognition that al-Qaida or other bin Laden supporters may strike back against the U.S.
"(Al-Qaida) is kind of a loosely controlled set of organizations," Holsinger
"Simply by getting rid of Osama bin Laden, its ability to still wreak havoc and destruction has to be taken seriously."
supporters, bin Laden played a symbolic role, Holsinger
"Whether or not he's
alive or dead, the symbol, in some ways, it can be even more powerful if he's
viewed as a martyr," he
Senior communication and political science major Razakh Abdirahman, who is Muslim, said he
believes the war in the Middle East will now intensify due to retaliatory attacks.
Abdirahman said many Muslims do not praise bin Laden's death as a victory.
Still, bin Laden embodied everything with which Muslim Americans do not want to be associated, he
"Osama was not revered or even paid attention to in the majority of the Muslim-American communities," Abdirahman said.
"In my personal opinion, bin Laden does not serve as a spokesman for the greater Muslim community.
I would never approve of his
actions of harming others to get his
political or religious views across."
To process the ramifications of current events, Holsinger
said, Americans need to understand how bin Laden came to hold such polarized views of the West.
"We have to understand how this man … came about, and what kind of lessons we can learn, so that we can prevent those kinds of seeds of future terrorists from sprouting around the world," Holsinger
Facts about bin Laden's final days - his
role in al-Qaida and his
death - will continue to surface in the coming days and weeks, Holsinger