In a recent trend on social media app TikTok, a large number of users, many of whom are part of Gen Z, have been praising Osama bin Laden for a “letter to America” that he wrote, justifying his 9/11 terrorist attacks that led to the deaths of nearly 3000 Americans. Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly recently took to her SiriusXM talk show to express her anger and frustration over this trend, lamenting the fact that many young people seem to have a warped view of American history. She also critiqued parents and educators, blaming them for allowing this perspective to develop.
According to a report by The New York Post, in the letter, bin Laden justified the 9/11 attacks by claiming that the U.S. “attacked us in Palestine” and arguing that the creation of Israel was a “crime which must be erased.” He also made anti-semitic remarks that were met with praise from some TikTok users. Despite the inherently violent acts that bin Laden carried out, these TikTok videos claim that reading his letter has helped them to see him in a positive light.
The response to this trend on TikTok has been mixed. Many people, including Kelly, have expressed shock and outrage at this behavior. Commenting on a news clip about this trend, many Twitter users expressed their shock and disbelief at the fact that some people are supporting bin Laden’s perspective.
In response to the increasing trend, TikTok has announced that it will be taking action to curb this type of content on their platform. They have stated that content promoting bin Laden’s letter violates their rules on supporting terrorism and have promised to remove it and investigate how it got onto the platform.
The trend on TikTok has raised some broader questions about the influence of social media and cancel culture on the political perspectives of young Americans. This can open up larger discussions around censorship, freedom of speech, and online regulation.
The rise of this trend also highlights the extent to which anti-American sentiment has been allowed to proliferate through certain channels on the digital landscape. It is crucial to engage with this incident as a starting point for larger discussions about the importance of civic education and the development of critical thinking skills in young people today.
While the situation is indeed concerning, it also presents an opportunity for parents, educators, and community leaders to engage young people in meaningful conversations about American values and history. Rather than simply condemning and censoring, it is important to actively engender a broader understanding of why the United States is a historical and political force.
In conclusion, the trend on TikTok that sees people praising Osama bin Laden and his justification for the 9/11 terrorist attacks is concerning. This should serve as a wake-up call to all of us, and to start more meaningful and good-faith conversations about the values and history of our great nation. This also requires keeping a keen eye on what is being disseminated as it can assume dangerous undertones. Education and open discussion are key, but so are clear boundaries to not encourage or tolerate promotion of ideas reflecting remorseless violence against innocent people. This is not a blanket regulation on free speech, it is a call to be vigilant about the morally bankrupt spreading of otherwise condemnable acts of terror.