Monday, May 2, 2011


THIS IS PERHAPS THE FASTEST FIVE DAYS IN WORLD HISTORY. From April 27 to May 1, we've been bombarded with large chunks of news and information on TV and the Internet about currents events that were too big to digest. First was the release of US President Obama's birth certificate which finally silenced conspiracy theorists who poked doubts to his citizenship. Then came the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which was followed soon after by the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II. But the biggest news came Sunday, when President Obama announced to the world that US forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

It took almost a decade to hunt and kill the brainchild of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, which perpetrated and propagated the ideology of global jihad in many parts of the globe. From New York to Mumbai, from Marrakesh to Manila, terrorism spread like wildfire and wrecked havoc on the lives of thousands of innocent people. Bin laden had successfully created a franchise out of killing people in the name of religion. Despite his death, this franchise will continue to exist as long as the ideology is there, the same way communism and atheism exists today. The War on Terror doesn't end here and now. But I am sure, it is the beginning of the end.

Just like Bin Laden, all of us who love peace and progress, who value community and good relationships must create a "franchise of goodness" to counter his network of terror. We teachers are ever more relevant in the War on Terror now as we have to moral responsibility to affect the minds of people deceived by this ideology. As teachers, we now have a greater task of instilling values of love to young people -- love for self, for fellow people, for country and for God (whichever God we are praying to) -- as well as values of humility, tolerance, patience, perseverance, respect, trust, generosity, and many more.

And so I urge the rest of the world to do the opposite of what people in Times Square and Pennsylvania Avenue has done. I suggest that we pray that God forgive Osama bin Laden, no matter what his wrongdoings were. Forgiveness, I believe, is still the best way to get closure, not violence. Forgiving the Face of Global Terrorism scores a victory better than a shot in the head.

My condolences to the bereaved family of Osama bin Laden. TSS

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