New Delhi: The Lal Masjid, in the heart of Islamabad, is back in the news for paying tribute to the slain Al Qaeda leader and world’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Lal Masjid has long been a barometer of militant Islam in Pakistan. In the 1980s it funneled fighters into the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. In the ’90s its leaders made an awe-struck pilgrimage to visit their hero, Osama bin Laden, at his farm outside Kandahar.
According to a report in the New York Times, the cleric of the mosque has just inaugurated a library dedicated to the memory of the dreaded terrorist.
“If Pakistan truly has freedom of expression, then we should be able to express our love for our heroes,” said Maulana Abdul Aziz, the chief cleric of the Lal Masjid, sitting in a room with the sign “Martyr Osama bin Laden Library” on the door.
“And we love Osama bin Laden,” Aziz concluded.