Monday, 2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden's Death

This morning I heard the news that American forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and that there were crowds rejoicing in New York and Washington. I found the joyful celebration of the killing of someone made in God’s image rather repugnant and I winced to hear it described as ‘justice’. I don’t know whether the plan was to kill bin Laden or whether he was killed resisting ‘arrest’ (by the armed forces of a foreign country) but justice would only be served by a trial when the facts could be weighed. The statue of Justice on the Old Bailey varies from the traditional image of Justice as she isn’t blindfolded; Justice is meant to weigh the facts without seeing who is being judged. By that standard this was not justice but revenge.


Karin said...

The comments made my Obama and other Americans certainly make it seem like this killing was motivated by revenge. I think I also heard the word vengeance.

Of course some Americans were bereaved by people who we assume were working for Bin Laden, and it is understandable that they might be glad he is dead. On the other hand, there doesn't seem to have been much thought to what responses their might be to his killing.

An ideology based more on compassion and less on revenge might be more fitting for a country that likes to think of itself as a world leader.

Still Breathing said...

Karin, Thank you for your beautiful comment. I notice one of my Facebook friends has quoted it as his status finishing with "I can't add to or improve on that."