Osama Bin Laden and Mahatma Gandhi

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Osama Bin Laden

Osama was born in the year 1957. His plight for terrorism begun in the year 1979 when the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan (Mockaitis, 2010). Osama then joined the resistance and after the Soviet Union had withdrawn, he formed the Al-Qaeda group, which became known for carrying out strikes against the Western interests.

Osama did not come from a well up family. His mother was the tenth wife to his father, and she bore only him. Osama’s father worked as a porter in Saudi Arabia.  He often pleased his employers since he was keen on detail while doing his work, and much cheaper than other laborers. By 1960’s, Osama’s father had managed to land several government contracts that involved projects such as building extensions to Medina, Al-Aqsa, and Mecca mosques. He later became so wealthy that during a certain period of hardship in Jeddah, he used his money to pay wages to the laborers in the kingdom for a six month. This then earned him a lot of admiration and respect. He always insisted that his children co-exist under one roof and observe a moral code of being staunchly religious and self-sufficient while still young.

Osama, at the age of 14, was already recognized for being outstanding and was often invited to Islamic religious groups. He joined one particular study group that was keen on teaching them how to recite the entire Koran, which was considered extremely lucrative in the Islamic community (Mockaitis, 2010). However, the group failed to keep up its purpose and started deviating to allowing their teachings to accommodate those of violent jihad. The teacher begun teaching them the need to be staunch observers of Islamic law. This meant that they had to do anything to hold it up, even if it meant resorting to killing and destruction. Osama quickly took up this way of life and had become an active activist by the age of 18, which is also the age he married.

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was born in the year 1869, although he was initially named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was a very popular religious and political leader in India. He fought tirelessly for the freedom of Indians and singlehandedly formed the party that led to the same.

Gandhi grew up in a strictly religious family. Gandhi’s father was the chief of Porbandar. His mother was also a staunch religious follower of Vaishnavism, which is influenced by Jainism. This kind of religion is governed by self-discipline and lack of violence. At 19, Gandhi left his home to study law in London. When he returned in 1891, he set up a law practice in Bombay, which failed. He resolved to get a position at an Indian firm that led him to work in South Africa alongside his family for 20 years. One of the factors that led Gandhi to hold up activism was the kind of treatment he got as an Indian immigrant in South Africa. He soon developed the aspect of passive resistance against the authorities, who once beat him up for failing to leave a first-class railway compartment for a European traveler.

Mahatma began as an activist in the early 1900’s while he was an immigrant. During the World War One, he led greatly in the struggle for his country from the shackles of the Britain’s (Lelyveld, 2011). He often wore a loincloth and shawl, and was also a strict upholder of the Hindu faith. Gandhi got imprisoned several times in his lifetime. He took up hunger protests to air the oppression of India’s poorest classes. He actively advocated for peace in India.

Comparison and Contrast for the Two Leaders

In both their lifetimes. Gandhi and Osama are seen to be leaders that were devoted to the well-being of their people. However, one was inclined towards violence while the other was inclined towards peace. Both Gandhi and Osama are also seen to have started their activist undertakings early in their lives. However, as seen in Osama’s case, he started when he was younger. Both were solemnly religious, which was greatly influenced by their parents.

Osama had dedicated his life to serving the rights, or so deemed of his Islam followers. A lot of his activities and beliefs were influenced by his teacher through his teenage years (Mockaitis, 2010). This is in contrast to Gandhi’s case, where he chose his way of doing things from the personal treatment he received while in South Africa. Osama had been taught to uphold his religion, irrespective of the damages it was going to cause. This gave rise to several deaths that either came from breaking loyalty of the activist groups, or any relation to Western activities despite their having positive impacts on society eventually. Globally, several crimes that were started by Osama became widely known for their profound negative impacts. Massive deaths resulted through his actions, marking him as one of the worst terrorists before he was killed. Furthermore, his influence created more followers like him who found violence as the most amicable solution to defending their rights. Worse still most of the reasons Osama used to resolve to violence were not good enough. The need to attack the American government had become such an obsession with him that many innocent lives were lost. Most of the time, all the Islamic activist groups wanted was to scare the American government despite having not been wronged. This demonstrates how much the Jihad teachings barely made any beneficial impacts on the fight for the rights of the Saudi Arabian people.

Gandhi, on the other hand, was driven by kind actions. He was hardly ever, a participant in violent acts (Lelyveld, 2011). He chose to follow passive resistance, which simply meant not giving way to the discriminative authorities, who would harass people of his descent. Gandhi inspired many people in his life story. He believed in there being no violence and strongly advocated for peace. He also believed in simplicity, truth, faith in God, celibacy, and was also a vegetarian. Gandhi based his protests on reasonable ground, and his aim was not revenge, but to ensure a better life for his people. Additionally, he was not keen on causing terror to the people oppressing his people. Gandhi made several calls to the Britain to be kind to the Indians (Gandhi & Dsai, 1984). He did not form violent activist groups, but rather, formed political parties, which were going to engage in peaceful protests for the same. Eventually, upon his assassination, Gandhi became a greatly revered leader. He made several quotes in his lifetime that acted as an inspiration to both the Indians and other people worldwide. He made several sacrifices that were for the good of his people, which included his wife leaving him. Conclusively, Gandhi left a good legacy, while Osama left a trail of deaths in his path that did not necessarily better his community.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Gandhi, & Dsai, M. H. (1984). An autobiography, or, the story of my experiments with truth. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Pub. House.
  2. Lelyveld, J. (2011). Great soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  3. Mockaitis, T. R. (2010). Osama bin Laden: A biography. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.`
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