Pakistan school names library after Osama Bin Laden
An all-girls school in Pakistan named its new library after the notorious late Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
The Jamia Hafsa madrassa, a religious school in Islamabad, started setting up the library six months ago. Now, a sign outside reads "Library of Osama bin Laden, the Martyr."
Jamia Hafsa is run by Pakistani Taliban member and Red Mosque prayer leader, Maulana Abdul Aziz.
The Red Mosque was the site of a 2007 conflict in which Aziz and his students engaged in battle with Pakistani government soldiers, which led to 27 people being killed, and over 100 injured.
Violence against invading forces is considered a noble cause to Aziz, and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks elevated bin Laden's status as a champion in Aziz's mind.
"Aziz thinks that Osama bin Laden is a hero and he is a martyr and that is why he selected Osama bin Laden's name for the library," Aziz spokesman Tehsin Ullah told the Associated Press.
Aziz is not unlike many others in the war-torn country. ABC News reports that most madrassa students consider bin Laden a hero, and many name their children after him. Taliban supporters began to idolize bin Laden because images of the terrorist group's leader, Mullah Omar, were less prevalent.
Whereas many Pakistani stores and other buildings were named after bin Laden in the past, the practice became less frequent after authorities began arresting associates and followers of the late terrorist.
The Jamia Hafsa library is the most recent public dedication to bin Laden in years.
Another Aziz spokesman, Abdul Qadir, told NBC that the one-room library currently has 3,000 to 5,000 volumes, and that Aziz plans to increase its size.
There are no photos or books relating to bin Laden in the library at this time. School administrator Abdul Rehman told ABC that the library will only carry books relating to Islamic teachings.