Candidate in Phillipines runs as “Bin Laden”

Agakhan Sharief has either made a foolish gamble, or is keenly aware that Osama Bin Laden remains a popular figure on the insurgency-plagued Phillipine island of Mindanao. Sharief, a candidate for a legislative council seat in upcoming provincial elections, adopted “Bin Laden” as his nickname after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo jokingly called him the “young ...

602509_070418_binladen_05.jpg
602509_070418_binladen_05.jpg

Agakhan Sharief has either made a foolish gamble, or is keenly aware that Osama Bin Laden remains a popular figure on the insurgency-plagued Phillipine island of Mindanao.

Sharief, a candidate for a legislative council seat in upcoming provincial elections, adopted "Bin Laden" as his nickname after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo jokingly called him the "young bin Laden of Mindanao" at a public appearance in 2002. But Sharief isn't a militant; he just looks somewhat like the al Qaeda leader, dresses in white and sports a long beard. Sharief is known locally as a "peacemaker" for his role as an intermediary between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Mindanao's main insurgent group. Yet, Sharief has also expressed ambivalence about the other bin Laden's involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Given his unorthodox campaign strategy, we can probably infer that his would-be constituents feel much the same way.

Agakhan Sharief has either made a foolish gamble, or is keenly aware that Osama Bin Laden remains a popular figure on the insurgency-plagued Phillipine island of Mindanao.

Sharief, a candidate for a legislative council seat in upcoming provincial elections, adopted “Bin Laden” as his nickname after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo jokingly called him the “young bin Laden of Mindanao” at a public appearance in 2002. But Sharief isn’t a militant; he just looks somewhat like the al Qaeda leader, dresses in white and sports a long beard. Sharief is known locally as a “peacemaker” for his role as an intermediary between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Mindanao’s main insurgent group. Yet, Sharief has also expressed ambivalence about the other bin Laden’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Given his unorthodox campaign strategy, we can probably infer that his would-be constituents feel much the same way.

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