A shocking trend emerged on TikTok earlier this week, as young people started sharing reaction videos praising Osama bin Laden after reading his decades old ‘Letter to America’ in which he explained why he attacked the United States on September 11.
The Guardian unpublished the letter from its website on Wednesday, and – amid backlash – TikTok removed the hashtag most associated with the posts that were first flagged by journalist Yashar Ali.
Troubling TikTok Trend
As Megyn covered on Thursday, Ali posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Wednesday night that there had been thousands of TikTok videos created in a 24-hour period in which users shared how they felt after reading bin Laden’s infamous letter.
Ali told The Washington Post that the hashtag was not trending on TikTok when he made his montage – that now has some 40 million views – but said the volume of videos posted was “not small enough to be minuscule or not important.”
Megyn, for one, had no time for those praising bin Laden’s actions. “How can they be so weak, so uninformed, so pathetic, so hateful toward our own country,” she asked. “How dare they think of those 3,000 dead Americans and conclude bin Laden had a point.”
She also noted the lack of education and gratitude on display. “In the two military campaigns that followed 9/11, nearly 7,000 U.S. military personnel were killed… so that these kids now cheering bin Laden could be safe at home in their cradles,” she shared. “Then they grew up and – instead of gratitude for the freedom so many fought to ensure – they’re siding with the terrorists.”
Rob O’Neill Responds
To the education point, O’Neill said the fact that these TikTok users weren’t aware of bin Laden’s letter proves just how uninformed they are. “They’re almost acting insulted – like, nobody showed me this,” he noted. “That’s proof right there that you are not learning history… That means they’re not teaching you history. They’re doing what they can to erase history.”
The history that is taught, he said, paints America as the oppressor against marginalized groups. “A lot of these people, not only were they not raised to learn history and hopefully not repeat it, they’re taught the entire time that they’re victims,” he said. “They’re learning through propaganda on TikTok that bin Laden was a victim himself and so are these ‘conquered lands’ where we have our [military] bases.”
As he pointed out, the TikTokers seem to ignore how bin Laden condemned Western civilization and culture – specifically the freedoms afforded to women – in that same letter. “In Sharia law, you can have up to four wives, which I don’t think a lot of progressive women in this country would like,” O’Neill joked.
But it doesn’t stop there. “You’re not allowed to work. You’re certainly not allowed to vote… Under strict Sharia, you’re not allowed to leave the house,” he continued. “That doesn’t sound like something that women should be cheering for, and it just goes to show you how up is down and down is up.”
Prior to O’Neill joining the show, Megyn offered a history of the 9/11 attack in an effort to educate those now lauding one of its masterminds. During it, she played 9-1-1 calls and voicemails from the victims. In O’Neill’s view, we can all learn a thing or two about what is really important from the final words and actions of those who perished that terrible day.
“Listening to the voices of the people saying goodbye to their loved ones, the only thing that mattered to them was love for their family… none of the other stuff mattered anymore because it’s all about to end,” he explained. “With the realization that it’s all over, everything that you thought mattered no longer matters – your credit card debt… the mortgage… It just matters that someone knows… that you love them.”
In his view, the history of September 11 should be as commonplace in America’s schools as the Pledge of Allegiance. “Before the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools in this country that are funded by federal taxpayers, they should [have] to watch 10 minutes of 9/11 [footage],” he concluded. “These people have no idea what they’re talking about.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with O’Neill by tuning in to episode 672 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.