Show the Bin Laden Corpse Photos (Update: Obama says no)

The deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee agreed, declaring: “Bin Laden, whom all Muslim nations despised, was simply a stooge in the hands of the Zionist regime [of Israel], to show a violent image of Islam following the 9/11 attacks.”

Iranian President Ahmadinejad has asserted that the U.S. government had a role in 9/11 and called on the UN to investigate the matter. He was ridiculed in the West, but such theories have a large amount of support in the Islamic world. In 2008, a poll was conducted of 17 countries. The majorities in only nine of them believed that al-Qaeda carried out 9/11. In Egypt, 43 percent blamed Israel, 12 percent blamed the U.S. government, and only 16 percent blamed Al-Qaeda. In Jordan, 31% said 9/11 was carried out by Israel, 17% said the U.S., and only 11% said it was al-Qaeda. In Turkey, 39% said al-Qaeda was responsible, 36% said the U.S., and 3% said Israel. Interestingly, 42% of those in the Palestinian territories blamed al-Qaeda, a higher percentage than in the other three Middle Eastern countries. The U.S. was blamed by about 27% and Israel by 19%.

These are alarming statistics that show why the Obama administration must release as much proof as possible of bin Laden’s death. It should also release evidence of his involvement in 9/11 and attacks on Muslims whenever it is safe to do so.

So far, there is more outrage about the burial of bin Laden than over the likely release of photos of his corpse. The grand imam of Al-Azhar Mosque said the burial at sea “runs contrary to the principles of Islamic laws, religious values and humanitarian customs.” The grand mufti of Dubai said “sea burials are permissible for Muslims in extraordinary circumstances: This is not one of them.” A scholar in Iraq said, “What was done by the Americans is forbidden by Islam and might provoke some Muslims. It is not acceptable and it is almost a crime to throw the body of a Muslim man into the sea.” An extremist cleric in Lebanon named Omar Bakri Mohammed claimed: “The Americans want to humiliate Muslims through his burial.”

The Obama administration must also think of the Americans who have suffered through 9/11 and the subsequent military operations, losing loved ones and living with injuries and painful memories.

“The photos should be released so those of us who lost so much on 9/11, including our brave soldiers and their families, can finally get a sense of justice that has been denied to us for nearly 10 years. Seeing the actual photos will help us recognize this important milestone has finally been reached,” Tim Brown, founder of and New York City firefighter and first-responder on 9/11, told Pajamas Media. “Is that too much to ask after what he did to us?”

The Obama administration should wait no longer. America deserves, and the world needs, to see the photos and whatever footage of the raid that is safe for release. The U.S. should not be scared into inaction by those who would react more angrily to seeing a dead Osama bin Laden than to the actions of a living Osama bin Laden.

Update: President Obama says no, he will not release the photos.