US Buries Bin Laden at Sea
The United States, honoring the Muslim custom of burying the dead within 14 hours, buried Osama bin Laden at sea early Monday morning. It was not revealed in which sea he was buried.
After U.S. President Barack Obama’s dramatic announcement late Sunday night (early Monday morning in Israel) that Bin Laden was killed, American officials added, "We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. This is something that we take very seriously. And so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner."
He was buried at sea because it was not possible to find any country that would allow him to be buried on its soil and on such short notice.
Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia, and TIME reported that the kingdom rejected an American suggestion that he be buried there, where his citizenship was cancelled years ago.
The American government’s respect of Muslim tradition differs from those in several countries, where Muslim terrorists have been buried in pigskin. Muslim law forbids eating pig meat.
After terrorist attacks in Russia in 2002, a Russian newspaper reported that security forces buried the Muslim attackers in pigskin to deter potential terrorists, who presumably would fear of not being allowed into heaven for being wrapped in unclean pigskin.
One claim, still unsubstantiated, is that U.S. General John Pershing discouraged Muslim terrorists in the Philippines in 1911 by burying them with pigs.
The British army reportedly took similar action.
After a Muslim terrorist attacked a supermarket in Efrat south of Jerusalem several years ago, a rabbi reportedly defended the practice of burying him in pigskin if ”it will deter suicide bombers.” He explained, "We should do anything to save life."