Osama bin Laden saw a clash of civilizations: Muslims vs. non-Muslims. He was wrong. This is a battle between the civilizations of the 7th century and the 21st century. And Bin Laden's death is a victory for all of us who choose to live in the modern world.
The man who successfully launched the war of civilizations is dead – but his war rages on. Osama bin Laden, the iconic face of global terrorism, has finally met the fate President George W. Bush promised when he pronounced the judgment that the United States would get him eventually, “dead or alive.” President Obama carried out the sentence.
Both leaders were at pains to affirm to the Muslim world that the war on terror is not a war against Islam. They believed it necessary to repeat those assurances because so many Muslims have bought into Bin Laden’s false syllogism: America, a nonMuslim country, was killing some Muslims, therefore it is at war with all Muslims.
Many in the West also fell into Bin Laden’s trap: some Muslims have attacked Americans and other Westerners, so all of Islam is at war with the West.
For those in both camps holding those views, the war on terror is a war of civilizations.