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Osama Bin Laden Honored With Library at Pakistan School
BY WAJAHAT S. KHAN
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A seminary run by a fiery Muslim cleric has named a library after Osama bin Laden.
Abdul Qadir, a spokesman for Maulana Abdul Aziz, confirmed that the all-girls madrassa in Pakistan's capital had recognized the slain al Qaeda leader "in honor of his martyrdom."
Bin Laden was slain by U.S. Navy SEALs in nearby Abbottabad in 2011.
"Around six months ago, we set up a library ... named for Sheikh Osama as a martyr of Allah," Qadir added. "We have an estimated 3000 to 5000 volumes, but plan on increasing our size."
Aziz is a controversial character. A prayer leader of the Red Mosque, which was once a stronghold of militants in the heard of Islamabad, he and his students fought government troops there in 2007 which resulted in dozens being killed. That incident also fomented the Pakistani Taliban as a more organized movement bent on battling the Pakistani state.
During that military operation, Aziz was detained by Pakistani troops as he tried to leave the Red Mosque dressed up like one of his female students: in a burqa - a long flowing robe that many Muslim women wear to cover up.
Aziz is a proponent of "universal Shariah law" who uses the term "Ghazi" -- or "Islamic war veteran" -- with his name.
His views often make the news in Pakistan. Aziz recently decreed that the country's constitution is "un-Islamic" because it was "imagined in the British era," even though Pakistan gained independence in 1947 and drafted a constitution making it an Islamic republic in 1973.