How Is the Arab World Reacting to Bin Laden's Death?



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As the news of Osama bin Laden's death spread across the nation, scores of impromptu celebrations broke out, the most moving of which occurred outside the White House and at Ground Zero. Chicagoans, at least judging by media reports, opted to stay at home rather than take to the streets.

But what of the reaction in the Arab world? You may recall seeing disturbing images on 9/11 of people dancing in the streets, expressing jubilation at our trauma.

The reaction of Arabs in the U.S. ranged from excited to subdued, with celebrations breaking out in the heavily Muslim Dearborn, Michigan.

Residents of Dearborn, Mich., celebrate the news of Osama bin Laden's death. - AP
  • AP
  • Residents of Dearborn, Mich., celebrate the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

Abroad, the news of bin Laden's demise was met with "surprise and suspicion," according to the Guardian, and outrage that the terrorist's body was buried at sea.

Reaction in Cairo was initially muted, with local media outlets and early morning commuters reluctant to talk about the significance of the news before the body of the terrorist leader was displayed.

"I hope it's true, but even it it is, does it really mean that al-Qaida is finished?" said bank worker Ayman Qhadari. "There will be a million more men like him. There probably already are."

Most people interviewed appear to be of the "bin Laden was a bad guy" persuasion, and there seems to be a consensus here and abroad that Al Qaeda will go on despite the loss of its figurehead, who had been on the run for the last decade.

For a better idea of global reactions and viewpoints, you can view live broadcasts from Al Jazeera on its site. Once considered a propaganda arm for extremist organizations, Al Jazeera has started to command respect, especially after its straightforward coverage in Libya and its ability to report from areas American news organizations have been unable to access. Its English-language arm, Al Jazeera English, is not available as part of Chicago-area cable packages.

ABC News has also obtained video of the scene inside the compound where bin Laden was killed.

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