Washington: A decades-old letter of former Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is going viral on TikTok after some users posted it on the video sharing platform and re-shared it on X (formerly Twitter). TikTok has removed the hashtag #lettertoamerica (with over 2 million views) from its search after bin Laden’s 2002 ‘Letter to America’ sparked a debate about US support to Israel in its current conflict with Hamas, reported NBC News. Some social media users suggested that the Al Qaeda founder’s document gives an alternative perspective about the US’ involvement in conflicts in the Middle East – something that has been criticised by the White House.
The issue gained prominence after users started sharing link to The Guardian’s transcript of the letter, which was written a year after the September 11, 2001 attacks in which more than 3,000 people were killed. The Guardianremoved the 21-year-old letter from its website.
In the letter, bin Laden addressed the American people and sought to answer the following questions: “Why are we fighting and opposing you?” and “What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?” The letter includes anti-semitic language, as per NBC News.
The letter sparked a debate on social media about the validity and morality of bin Laden’s letter, with some expressing sympathy while others condemning or mocking it.
People discussing the letter said it caused them to re-evaluate their beliefs around US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also said they are not praising or defending bin Laden’s orchestration of the 9/11 attacks.