“It’s the happiest day," said Dearborn resident Dave Alwatan at a Monday afternoon gathering in front of Dearborn's .
His statement summed up what many Americans felt when they heard the news late Sunday evening. After 10 years of hunting for the world's most well-known terrorist, Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan by U.S. Navy Seals.
President Barack Obama from the White House at 11:30 p.m. Sunday night–a message met with celebration across the country. His body was in U.S. possession and bin Laden was buried at sea Monday morning per Islamic tradition.
But to Dearborn's Muslim community, bin Laden is no Muslim at all, said Alwatan, who also attended
“I don’t think any real Muslim will accept him,” he said. “He’s not a Muslim.”
Members of Dearborn's Arab-American community led cheers on Michigan Avenue on Monday afternoon, shouting "U.S.A.!" and "Osama is in hell!" They held American flags and cheered as drivers honked their horns while passing by.
Eight-year-old Mohammad Alyassiri was out celebrating with his dad. “Osama is dead!” he shouted, holding up an American flag.
John Akouri, a former Middle East senior adviser to former U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich., said that he saw the news as cause for celebration by all Americans–regardless of their heritage or faith.
"Osama bin Laden didn’t just kill Americans," he said. "He killed Europeans. He killed Arabs. He killed Christians. He killed Muslims. He was someone who was devoid of any humanity."
On days like this, Akouri added, "we're Americans first, no matter where you came from."
He said he hoped that this would take the U.S. closer to the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the U.S. would soon see a period of peace.
"We don’t want to send our young men and women off to wars any more," he said. "We want to have a nice, peaceful world. Am I asking too much? I don’t know, but I don’t think anyone would disagree with that."