Unjust and harsh

Last Updated on September 30, 2010 by Dave Farquhar

I see that Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the now-convicted mastermind behind the abduction, imprisonment and killing of Daniel Pearl, has been sentenced to death by hanging by a Pakistani court.
Sheikh’s lawyer called the penalty “unjust and harsh.”

Let’s see. You kidnap a newspaper reporter strictly because he was an American and a Jew, on the assumption that he hates Arabs. (And it was an assumption, as any idiot can read Pearl’s writings and figure out really fast that wasn’t the case at all.) You hold him for ransom for a month in inhumane conditions. You ignore the pleas from his family and employer and country to free him.

You force him to read propaganda into a video camera, and when he finishes, you thank him by having your flunky goons sneak up behind him and kill him inhumanely. Then you don’t even give the guy a respectable burial.

In the end, in return, you get a comparably quick death by hanging. As you await this fate, you live in conditions more humane than those you provided for your captive. Your flunky goons who carried out your orders get 25 years in those same conditions. Meanwhile, you gain martyr status among your flunky followers.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. So, yeah, I buy half his lawyer’s argument. Unjust? You bet your life. Harsh? Hardly. What did he expect? A pension and a retirement home in Bermuda?

Good thing he gets to stand trial in a higher court after death, where he’ll get true justice.

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7 thoughts on “Unjust and harsh

  • July 15, 2002 at 7:49 pm

    Is that your opinion or that of Jesus?

  • July 15, 2002 at 11:59 pm

    Mine. You’re trying to bait me, aren’t you?

  • July 16, 2002 at 12:10 am

    Give it a literal read.
    What do you think Jesus feels about what we done with our world?
    I would cut the throats of those muslims and feed them to the hogs.

  • July 16, 2002 at 1:36 am

    How does that t-shirt read — “God forgives – I DON’T”?

    What’s that other saying — “Hangin’s too good fer him!”?

    And isn’t there also something in the Qur’an about “an eye for an eye”?

  • July 16, 2002 at 9:31 am

    There’s also personal pride. Don’t let the bas.. – so-and-so’s pull you down to their level. Sure, they should be eliminated, as a public health measure, along the lines of scourging them out of the temple, but don’t let them involve you in hatred. Out the back of the courthouse and a bullet in the back of the head would be appropriate, like squashing a flea. Hating them back is giving them more credit than they deserve.

  • July 16, 2002 at 11:41 am

    Don’s right. After 9/11, when you saw Americans giving more blood than the Red Cross could handle, giving more food and supplies than we could ship to NYC, and flocking to their churches, it said something. That’s not the reaction people would have had in the Arab world.

    I don’t know if eye-for-an-eye appears in the Koran, but it appears three times in the Torah: Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21.

    As far as how Jesus feels about what we’ve done to this world, it pains Him to no end. It pained Him to no end while He was running around down here. He spoke often of the generation He lived in, and usually not in very flattering terms. Are things worse now than they’ve been at any other point in history? I doubt it. The communication is better today. That’s the biggest difference I see. Immorality and hatred are nothing new. They were with us at the dawn of civilization 6,000 years ago.

    God’s purpose in talking to Abraham was to show exactly how messed up things were. Jesus spent three years trying to explain to people how they’d misinterpreted everything God told to Abraham and, subsequently, to Moses and the prophets. In the meantime, He gave us an example to follow, and in His death, a way to get right with God.

    As far as God forgiving, God forgives when someone repents. From the statements Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh made through his lawyer, he’s defiant, not repentant. He’s questioning whether he’ll die before the people who sentenced him. Those are the words of someone who’s proud of what he did, not sorry.

    Punishment is life for life. Vengeance would be doing what we’d like to do to Sheikh’s body after he’s dead, or making him suffer before death (I’m sure we all have creative ideas–that part of the world is a wellspring of creative ideas for vengeance).

    Deuteronomy 32 seems especially poignant, especially verses 5-6 and 28-43.

  • July 17, 2002 at 1:22 am

    “Eye for an eye” does appear in the Qur’an:

    [Surah 5.45]
    And We prescribed to them in it that life is for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth, and (that there is) reprisal in wounds; but he who foregoes it, it shall be an expiation for him; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unjust.


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