"Every Muslim household not just in this country but around the world condemned the events of 9/11." So spoke Faiz Rehman of the American Muslim Council on Sept. 27, 2002, at the World Media Association Conference in Arlington, Virginia. Rehman and I were co-panelists at an event discussing the "Media's Role in Peace and Conflict: Covering the Consequences of 9/11" and I nearly fell off my seat in disbelief at his audacity. I responded by reading out some evidence I had collected in "A Middle East Party," and "Muslims ♥ Bin Laden," both of which documented bin Laden's general popularity among Muslim populations. Rehman's silence provided an eloquent reply.
Even I sensed a drop-off in support for bin Laden following the collapse of the Taliban in November 2001, which I documented in "Victory Shifts the Muslim World".
So, both Rehmen and I need to take into account an important Agence France-Presse report today about bin Laden's enduring popularity in Kano, Nigeria: "Osama bin Laden's now familiar smile beams out from posters and T-shirts dotted around the bus stops and markets of this sprawling, mainly-Muslim city, as of he were a football star or a singer. Many Muslims in Kano held parties to celebrate the September 11 attacks and now, almost two years later, the man who ordered the kamikaze hijackers into action is still a hero to many of the people here. … on the eve of Bush's historic visit [to Nigeria,] Bin Laden T-shirts and posters are far outselling Stars and Stripes flags on the streets of Kano." (July 11, 2003)
Sep. 11, 2006 update: I update this topic today at "Pro-bin Laden Arabs."