In academia in the US, the dominant name format is [firstName lastName]. And in APA citation format you typically cite by referring to the last name. So e.g. if John Doe wrote a paper in 2014, you might cite it as Doe (2014).
More generally you'd cite by referring to the family name. So e.g. if the Chinese basketball player Yao Ming wrote a paper in 2014, you would cite it as Yao (2014), since Yao is his family name and Ming is his given name. But there is typically no confusion anyway, because when East Asians publish in Western academia, they simply give in to Western convention and reverse the order of their names. So Yao Ming would typically simply have his name printed as Ming Yao. And so we're back to the [firstName lastName] format and there is no confusion.
My question is: What about patronymics? E.g. if Osama bin Laden writes a paper in 2014, should he be cited as Osama (2014) or bin Laden (2014)? It seems that unlike with East Asians, people with patronymic names have been less inclined to give in to Western convention and reverse the order of their names. So his name would still appear as Osama bin Laden on the title page.
Suppose I notice that everyone simply cites his paper as bin Laden (2014). (Indeed, in the real world, this is how Western media outlets often refer to this historical figure, even though this makes as much sense as referring to George W. Bush as simply George.) If I want to cite this paper, should I simply follow what is now the convention and cite it as bin Laden (2014), even though this is mistaken? Or should I cite it as Osama (2014), at the risk of my peers having no idea which paper I am talking about? What is or should be the proper convention?
Note that this 'problem' is not limited to Muslim names. Even in Europe there are e.g. Icelandic names. There are also some cultures where people go by a single given name (i.e. no last name/family name/surname) but which may sometimes be composed of more than one word (e.g. sometimes in Mongolia, Burma, South India, Indonesia).