Humanists of the world reject international terrorism whether it be political or religious in nature or of any other kind and we repudiate all crimes committed in any part of the world. This is a line of conduct and a position maintained in time and impossible for us to abandon without putting our identity and our doctrine of Humanism and Nonviolence in jeopardy.
The death of Osama bin Laden—like any other individual—is not going to change the danger to world peace that comes from groups of fanatics but it reminds us of the international relevance of the issue and the need to achieve world peace and the integration of all cultures as an effective means to overcome the apparent causes of danger.
We don’t agree with the actions of US troops capturing Osama bin Laden, bypassing international norms, and we deplore that he has been killed without going through due legal process. Not to mention the possibility, had he remained alive, of making advances in the struggle against international terrorism. In fact, nothing prevents us from thinking that maybe his death has been the best solution to hide other powers and nations involved that, in this way, will remain free to commit more crimes against humanity.
We reiterate: Justice cannot be confused with the axiom, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. If Osama bin Laden really has been killed, this may be useful for Obama to be re-elected as President and all the supporters of military solutions will be able to clear their consciences, but no doubt it will not be useful for the achievement of greater justice in this world.
The US military cannot speak of justice when it appears that we are in front of a premeditated killing with the only aim of vengeance. And if it’s the case that we are dealing with an accident during a shoot out, then this is not justice either. In any case, it’s vengeance.
Without doubt, the highly violent character of the crimes committed by Osama bin Laden is not in question. But for this very reason his death should not be confused with justice.
The Arab World is making an effort to follow the direction of their youth and change an exclusive society into an inclusive one, a situation of closure into openness, social relationships of inequality into social justice and the peaceful construction of a society in harmony with the world.
As humanists we have been the victims of international terrorism but we are not happy about the death of any person. It is more important to create conditions so that these unfortunate events never happen again. But this joint misfortune gives us the moral strength to go towards all peoples who have been touched by violence and tell them: let’s make a new effort.
Justice in relationships and the convergent contact of cultures is the only path that we as humanists recommend to take and the one in which we express our militant commitment.
International Coordination Team, 02/05/2011