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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Bin Laden tape: What is your reaction ?
Osama Bin Laden
An audio message, said to be from Osama Bin Laden, has offered Europe a truce if it "stops attacking Muslims".

The recording aired on two Arab TV channels referred to the 11 March bombings in Madrid and the events of 11 September 2001.

It describes the attacks as payment for US and Spanish actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.

ASK A JOURNALIST
American journalist Gregory Katz answered your questions in an interactive forum

The authenticity of the tape has not been verified.

What is your reaction to the "Bin Laden tape"? Send us your views.


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of the opinions we have received:

Despite the nonsense of Bin Laden's 'so called' offer he has again shown that is the arch manipulator. There are many out there that will use this false offer of peace to attack the stance by Bush and Blair.
Austen Lennon, Bangor

There is simply no way we should take this so-called truce seriously
Neil Jordan, Glasgow, UK

Osama is a very astute political manipulator. His ultimate goal is to get the US bogged down in Iraq without allies. Here we see the insidiousness of al-Qaeda; publicly demand US withdrawal from Iraq, but secretly it would suit their aims better for Iraq to become another Vietnam thus legitimising (in their eyes) their terrorist activities. Osama is nothing if not cunning, but there is simply no way we should take this so-called truce seriously.
Neil Jordan, Glasgow, UK

In my view, if you solve the problems between the Israelis and Palestinians and the terrorists won't have an excuse any more. This has been the case for over 30 years now and we still continue to sidestep the issue. It's not an easy task but we have to keep trying.
John, Birmingham, UK

Negotiating with terrorist of Bin Laden's stature would be a complete disaster for the world. Bin Laden does not speak for the entire world, he speaks for a minority of radicals who are set in their vision of how the world should work. Some may argue that this is the exact thing that America does. I would find it difficult to dispute that point. However, I ask you one question: Would you rather live in a world where dissent is allowed, freedom of ideas is encouraged, religion of all sects is tolerated and the rights of minorities and women are protected by law or, would you want to live in the world envisioned by Osama Bin Laden? I will never defend the war in Iraq led by President Bush, but, do you really want to appease a terrorist in a way that Hitler was appeased? Have we learned nothing from the past? To even consider negotiations with Bin Laden would set a dangerous precedent.
David, Chicago, U.S.A.

Unbelievable. You cannot appease anyone like bin Laden. He thinks even many Muslim nations are too moderate. He's trying to divide Europe and the US because he knows that a united West is a lot harder to destroy than fragmented nations. Unfortunately, as seen by some comments on this forum, his plan is already working with the weaker civilians of Europe.
Peter, New York, USA

Osama is just manipulating the nations how he sees fit, and deceiving all that follow or listen to him. He is not a man to be bargained with, he's a murderer, and the right thing to do, whatever nation, religion, colour or creed you are from, is to bring him to justice.
Vinni, Nottingham, UK

Truly, you are with us, or you are with the terrorists
Tom Penn, Chattanooga, USA

The American people will never forget your response at this time. Truly, you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. Now, which will it be?
Tom Penn, Chattanooga, USA

No way, no negotiation. We should step up our efforts as a group (Europe) and make sure we stop this animal, before he can do any more damage.
Grant Anderson, Edinburgh

Yes Bin Laden should be brought to justice, but we shouldn't dismiss the deep issue in the text. That is the plight of the Palestinians - which is often used as justification for terrorism. America and Israel need to engage not disengage.
David Reynolds, Chester, UK

Even if the US goes it alone, this animal and his followers should be hunted down and destroyed.
S.Zier, USA

For those that are stating we cannot give in to these terrorists and begin negotiations, I have one question. Why is it acceptable for the UK government to repeatedly negotiate with the IRA, and their "legitimate" wing Sinn Fein? Just Curious. Surely dialogue is better than the gun barrel diplomacy that's currently being practiced?
Ed Jordan, Europe

Should we stop attacking innocent Muslims? Definitely! Should be stop attacking Al-Qaeeda? Absolutely not. Osama's message reflects a muddled inept mind. "Stop spilling our blood so we can stop spilling yours" - who is "us" and who is "you"?
Subramaniam, Singapore

He is a terrorist in hiding and has done more to damage the perception of Muslims worldwide than anyone
David May, Glossop England
He is a terrorist in hiding and has done more to damage the perception of Muslims worldwide than anyone. He is therefore in no position to negotiate a truce.
David May, Glossop England

"The authenticity of the tape has not been verified." By who? The cheating, lying, warmongering politicians of the West and their lapdog media?
Thom, UK

I think we should take him on his offer - why do we want to bother with this killer? Let the Americans deal with their problem. We should make a peace with Al-Queda
Henri Talleuire, Paris, France

This is probably the best proof of legitimacy in liberating the people of Iraq and it weakens Muslim extremists. It validates the efforts of Bush, Blair and their allies.
Sebastian Loeda, Spain

The motives behind such a truce should be suspect
Ryan, Seattle, USA
The motives behind such a truce should be suspect, however peace is peace. If America has to go it alone, so be it. While I don't 100% agree with the foreign policies of the US, I do not believe pulling out of the Middle East would stop the violence.
Ryan, Seattle, USA

Who is Osama bin Laden? Just who does he think he is? Some kind of divine messenger obviously. Who is he to decide what repercussions are fair and just. Accepting his offer gives him a great deal of power over the situation. We cannot negotiate with terrorists they cannot be trusted and they needed capturing.
Richard Dudley, Guernsey

The British, Germans and Italians immediately rejected Bin Laden's offer. Where and what is the French response?
David, Huntley, Illinois, USA

If a terrorist can wish for peace so can we civilized people too
Saqib Ali, Denmark
Why be so stubborn and not negotiate with him? We have a golden opportunity to make peace then why not seize it. If a terrorist can wish for peace so can we civilized people too.
Saqib Ali, Denmark

At least one side of the "War On Terror" has a credible spokesperson, totally at ease with his command of the spoken word. Unlike Bush!
Gary Chiles, Wellington, New Zealand

Why must you post 'Michael' of the U.S.'s inane and arrogant comments regarding Europe. It does nothing but perpetuate the stereotype that all us Americans are that foolish. Surely you received at least a few other more thoughtful emails from the U.S. ?
Greg, US

His words are as meaningless
Laz, Toronto, Canada
Might as well listen to a tape of a dog barking. His words are as meaningless.
Laz, Toronto, Canada

When we can practice our religion in Muslim countries as freely as Muslims can in ours, tell me who has the closed minds and wants things their way or else no way.
Dave, USA, Manchester

To those promoting negotiations with this demon, just consider the precedent you are setting. It will embolden every militant group to kill and maim to get their way.
J Flanders, Chicago, USA

Leave the war-mongers out to dry
Carlos, Caracas, Venezuela
As has been said by many this is undoubtedly an attempt by Osama to separate the US and Europe. Divide and conquer. Does that mean that Europe should not consider it. Absolutely not. Leave the war-mongers out to dry.
Carlos, Caracas, Venezuela

Perhaps he should stop killing Muslims himself. He seems prepared to let other Muslims die so long as he can kill Westerners at the same time. Or when he uses the word "Muslim", does he mean only those who prescribe to his violent definition of Islam?
Andrew Dean, Edinburgh

People who hide in shadows, wear masks, kidnap journalists and other innocents, and engage in dialogue through anonymous tapes and 'ransom notes' are not even worthy of the epithet 'common criminal'.
Robert, Washington, DC; USA

There should be no negotiation
Alastair, Scotland
There should be no negotiation. The war on terror must continue until Osama Bin Laden and everyone who agrees with him no matter what country they are hiding in are dead
Alastair, Scotland

The 'offer' should be made to the whole world for the world want absolute peace. Please Mr Bin Laden give peace to the world.
Martin K Mhango, Malawi

As much as I detest Bush's way of 'fighting terrorism' and would like Europe to go another way - a deal for peace with the enemy has been made before. Chamberlain, anyone? And the war still came.
Camilla Sandman, Lier, Norway

Makes me all the more determined that we should catch this man of evil. Bush should not have gone into Iraq (where Saddam kept the terrorists under thumb) but should have sent more men after Bin Laden.
Stephen, Sheffield, UK

The fight is against a group of organised terrorists
Malcolm, Liverpool
Osama Bin Laden is misleading in his request to stop attacking Muslims. The fight is against a group of organised terrorists and he is using his religion as the excuse to perpetrate his own war. I know many Muslims and none of them accept his views
Malcolm, Liverpool

A wonderful example of the "moving target" the Wahhabi Islamists have been utilizing from the start to try to bully the rest of the world. By agreeing to a truce with the terrorists, the European countries would be granting a state-like level of legitimacy, which would not be in accord with the level of responsibility Al Qaeda et al. have so far assumed.
Bret, USA

If you don't negotiate with terrorists they remain terrorists
Bede, USA

It's divide and conquer. Al-Qaeda are seeing that they can't fight every one at once. Turning America and Europe against each other will only help their cause.
Neil, Surrey

Now is the time for greater co-operation between all countries to eradicate the scourge of terrorism
Neil McNaughton, UK
Why has he made this announcement? Things are getting tough for our mass-murdering friend. Now is the time for greater co-operation between all countries to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.
Neil McNaughton, UK

To all the people here who talk about signs of "weakness" and the like, take a step back from your offensive, take a nap, maybe some coffee and relax. Then start thinking. The Man says "Stop spilling our blood so we can Stop spilling Your Blood". I really don't know if a more simpler statement can be made. Seize the moment.
Mohammed I, Birmingham, UK

It is amazing how easily all the war fanatics on both sides of the Atlantic reject simple truths! How easily they forget that it is Americans, Israelis and some European governments, against the wish of their voters, that invaded Arab territory and not the other way round. Shame on our new Western "civilisation"!
Theo, Athens, Greece

Did millions die fighting fascism in World War Two just so we could capitulate to Bin Laden's Islamic-fascism? I think not. More troops please.
Howard, UK

Could Bush and Blair send him a videotape saying "stop attacking everyone" and then we can talk about truces and social change.
Iain, London

We should not pander to this weak and divisive tactic
Dave, Manchester, UK
The doctrine that we should not negotiate with terrorists holds true... we should not pander to this weak and divisive tactic.
Dave, Manchester, UK

Seize the moment, be fair to your self. They are not terrorists, they are rebels and they have a fair case
Sea Sea, Taiwan

Why not? He asks to "stop attacking Muslims" and this should be done anyway.
Robert, Warszawa

Bin Laden can offer a truce, but those who want to control Iraqi oil will allow their people to die for the sake of Iraqi oil.
Fazal, Hyderabad Pakistan

Do we really believe that Osama Bin Laden can guarantee the behaviour of all Islamic terrorists
Neil, UK
Gosh! Do we really believe that Osama Bin Laden can guarantee the behaviour of all Islamic terrorists? Unfortunately, it seems that no single person speaks for Islam or for terrorists so I fail see how such a negotiation could occur.
Neil, UK

I'm flattered. He obviously thinks Europe is making a serious contribution to fighting terrorism. We should be encouraged by this to increase it.
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK

I think Osama is a real mastermind. He knows what appeals to Europeans and he is using it as a smart politician. This will bring a lot of credibility to his persona among us (Europeans).
Simon, Lithuania

Sounds fair to me. Had the U.S. a foreign policy which allowed for views other than their own, they might not be such a hated nation.
Rob Sich, Canada

The only decent European response to this threat is to send troops from all European countries to the region, to bring Bin Laden to Hague.
Henrik, Stockholm, Sweden

Quite clearly an attempt to set Europe at odds with America
Paul, Northampton, UK
To all those that would consider this seriously I can only say "get real!" It is quite clearly an attempt to set Europe at odds with America. We should remember that we have more in common with Americans than we will ever have with any Muslim nation.
Paul, Northampton, UK

Europe is already defeated. You may as well run-up the white flag and make it official! Bin Laden gauges Europe correctly! Weak, soft, impotent, decadent, etc.
Michael, USA

Negotiation is always preferable to conflict, and if a avenue of dialogue can be opened then excellent. However, Bin Laden has no political cause other than the 'destruction of the infidels'. His philosophy is pure hatred and violence and he has to be brought to justice for his crimes. This offer appears to be the desperate actions of a man who can feel the noose tightening around his neck. Those who are working to stop him should be encouraged.
Greg, Edinburgh

As a British Muslim, I have no wish to see terrorist atrocities perpetrated by al-Qaeda anywhere in the UK, either on my beloved friends and family, or on anyone else. So, if British intelligence agencies can negotiate a truce, I can walk safely in London once again.
Hasna Fateh, London, United Kingdom

If the offer proves to be authentic, then Europe should consider it
Dominic van der Zypen, Berne, Switzerland
If the offer proves to be authentic, then Europe should consider it. It turns out that the "hatred against the Western world" is really a hatred against the US and their allies.
Dominic van der Zypen, Berne, Switzerland

Absolutely not, Bin Laden is a mass-murderer. If we do as he asks we might be free from attacks for a few years maybe but eventually terrorism will come back to the shores of Europe. To make peace with this monster would be a mistake, just as seeking peace with Hitler was.
Richard, UK

Absolutely. This is an American "war" (their words!) and anything to remove the threat of terrorism from Europe should be welcomed.
Al, Bristol, England

If true, it's a sign of weakness, he still hates the West and all it stands for, but knows he is facing his comeuppance, so is trying to divide the West. Let's not forget the thousands who he has killed, including the Brits killed in New York on 11 September. We should finish him off.
John, UK

We don't negotiate with mass murderers
Roger Morgan Freedlan, Whitwick, England
We don't negotiate with mass murderers. We hunt them down and deliver them to justice.
Roger Morgan Freedlan, Whitwick, England

I hope no one is taken in by this divide and conquer approach. Stop your suicide bombers Osama and the world will talk and listen to you!
Alan Barnett, London, UK

All offers of peace should be considered, without exception.
Dan, UK





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