Friday, August 21, 2009

Release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi: Repugnant or a Manifestation of Biblical Mercy?

Hardly any American voices have been raised in support of the Scottish decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted for the Lockerbie bombing. Political response from the White House through the Secretary of State and politicians galore have deplored the decision. Yet many of them are Jews and Christians who surely know of the biblical injunction to be merciful. That the man is terminally ill and expected to live only a short time did not seem mitigate any of the righteous indignation that greeted his release.

Not only is Abdelbaset al-Megrahi near death with cancer, there is serious doubt about his guilt. Knowledgeable and responsible persons in Great Britain have called his conviction a great miscarriage of justice.

Given all this, surely the mercy shown him can be commended by Christians and Jews, as well as other morally sensitive people.

For doubts about his guilt see:

Have we forgotten this news item?

Sunday July 3, 1988
The USA shot down an Iranian civil aircraft with the loss of 290 passengers and crew, including 66 children.

1 comment:

Samuel A. Hwang said...

Thank you Dr. Cauthen for once again providing the "corrective lens." We all become jaded in our perspectives. I am convinced, as Richard H. Niebuhr argued, that all Christian ethics must begin with serious introspection. Thank you for putting that into practice and for reminding us of the Iranian aircraft incident which had been conveniently swept under the rug. As a Korean-American I remember how a similar incident against the South Korean civilian aircraft in 1983 had made my blood boiled against the Russians.