Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi

Should a dying man, who has always denied the crime for which he is imprisoned, be released? I think so yes, but then I am a Christian and I would say that, wouldn’t I? I am bound to argue for forgiveness, and for mercy. I am bound to argue for higher ethical standards for myself and my society than I see put into practise elsewhere.

Am I sorry for those who lost loved ones and who will feel pain because the man found guilty [sic] is free for a few weeks before his death? Yes, I am. But I am influenced by the fact that he is no longer any danger to them or to theirs.

I am influenced, too, by a sense that what is against the core of my own faith is also actually and objectively unhealthy. Taking comfort in the suffering of others is natural and understandable and deeply unhealthy.

You might add, this is just a story in the news, it does not affect most ordinary people. I think it does. I now see increasing demands for revenge, for brutal and degrading treatment of others just because it is brutal and degrading. And these the people making these calls are not unkind people; generally they are those devoted to the kindly care of animals, or perhaps young children. Somehow they imagine the way to combat cruelty is by even more cruelty. It is not.

We can never really govern the actions of others. We can model healthy behaviours. In fact, we can seek to live the gospel.

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8 responses to “Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi

  1. I find it highly significant, not to say inspiring, that some of those who did lose loved ones on Flt 103 are also advocating al-Megrahi’s release, whether they believe in his guilt or not.

  2. Al-Megrahi is and was totally innocent. The transcripts of his trial are available on the Internet. Read them and lt me know if you agree that his conviction was a massive stitch-up, unsupported by hard evidence. Hard evidence pointing in quite a different direction (i.e. Iran and the PLO) was available at the time but deemed inadmissable in court. Ask yourself why.

  3. I firmly believe that mercy, kindness, forgiveness and charity ( whether shown by one person, organisation or society)
    are the resposibility of the giver not the reciever, they are the giver’s to show or withhold. They do not speak of the actions of the person on the recieving end.

    It seems to me that mercy, kindness, forgiveness and charity are frequently viewed as being a linked with justice, and that only the good should be shown mercy. This idea makes me wholly uncomfortable as I do not like to think that another’s behaviour places limits on my freedom (or my the freedom of my government) to demonstrate any of these qualities.

    I do completely understand that there are times when I am unwilling to show kindness, because of my reaction to what someone else does, but that is about my behaviour, my willingness – not anybody else’s.

  4. rosemaryhannah

    I think you live what you preach more fully than most of us, Bea, indeed I was commenting on this to a friend just the other day.

    In a sense, alrbrich, innocence and guilt are beside the question here. The point is how we act in mercy.

  5. I am alas very capable of being harsh and unforgiving, I do know however that this is down to me.

  6. rosemaryhannah

    It is interesting to me how many of the links generated are about guilt and innocence. You Bea are much more alive than most to the fact that they have no relevance to mercy.

  7. Rosemaryhannah and Bea,
    I fully agree that mercy is one of Man’s most precious instincts (although not everybody is blessed with it), but Al-Megrahi needed no mercy. He needed justice.

  8. everyone needs mercy – to give and to recieve

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