May 3, 2011

Russian Church Responds To Osama's Death

May 3, 2011

The elimination of the 'number one terrorist' does not solve the terror problem, said Archpriest Georgy Roschin, deputy head of the Russian Orthodox Church Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations.

"The Russian Orthodox Church will not welcome the jubilation that we have seen in some countries. Whoever is caught by death, be they the greatest evil or terrorist, they will be judged by God only," Father Georgy told Interfax-Religion.

Instead, he urged believers "to continue to improve themselves so as to make a phenomenon such as terrorism, linked to the name of Osama bin Laden, disappear from our life."

"I think the death of one terrorist, even if he is the number one terrorist, will not solve the entire problem. The problem remains, and the main thing here is to make the right decisions and to celebrate the achievements that will be aimed at solving the problem in general and not at the elimination of one member of a terrorist group," Father Georgy said.

For his part, Supreme Mufti from the Central Spiritual Authority of Russia's Muslims, Talgat Tujuddin, welcomed the killing of bin Laden.

"This is the only way to deal with international terrorism," he told Interfax-Religion, adding that he hoped that international cooperation in fighting terrorism will continue.

He also emphasized the importance of tackling the causes of terrorism, adding that "this is not just about personalities."

"Probably, bin Laden was not the only one to heat up extremist sentiments among Wahabis. Like many other terrorists who are still alive, he was an echo of the earlier standoff between the Soviet Union and the West, and these echoes are still being heard, so we should think of how to exterminate the very roots of international terrorism," Tajuddin said.

Asked whether there are many followers of bin Laden's ideas in Russia, the mufti said: "Absolutely not." The overwhelming majority of Russian Muslims do not accept extremism, he said.

"Our country is demonstrating to others a good example of how Christians and Muslims can live together, with such an example being shown primarily by the Russian Orthodox Church. The followers of Islam and Christianity have long found the golden middle in Russia, which allows us to remain brothers, regardless of any challenges," the supreme mufti said.

Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar, has called the killing of bin Laden the 'triumph of justice.'

"Today's news about the killing of the man who had become a symbol of international terrorism of our time proves once again that success is possible in the irreconcilable fight between good and evil, as long as it is consistent and does not retreat from the set goal," he told Interfax-Religion.

"For terrorists, there are no borders, no laws, whether divine or human," he said. This is why the civilized world must respond to their "heinous crimes likewise, without limits," he said.

"Carrying out such a strike against terror will no doubt allow its abettors the world over to fully realize that the monstrous crimes committed by Osama bin Laden did not remain unpunished," Lazar said.

"This act of vengeance can definitely be called a triumph of justice," he said. "We fully support the idea that people who do not value and take other people's lives must be destroyed," the rabbi said.