I am writing to request my objection to misquoting and misrepresentation in Jason Alpert’s “Peaceful Rally” piece from Tuesday.
Alpert states that: “Flagg Miller said the killing of bin Laden is a moment for Americans to step back and take relief that the top member of al-Qaeda has been taken out.” He also states that I said, “There is a lot of relief and gratitude toward the people for their work on this mission.”
Rather than commending Americans’ celebration, I made an observation during the interview that Americans from across the political spectrum were celebrating and that this was perhaps a natural expression of relief for news of bin Ladin’s death. I added that a measure of gratitude for the “operation” (not “mission”) was due.
In unmistakable terms, however, I linked these remarks to my hope that celebrants would not turn the occasion into a “pro-American” moment that excluded the many non-Americans and especially Muslims who have suffered equally under the brutality of bin Ladin and Al-Qaida.
These individuals, acknowledged in my interview, have been instrumental in helping defeat bin Ladin’s ideology over the years, and his death should underscore our commonality with them rather than our difference.
UCD Professor, religious studies