Anglican Samizdat

August 25, 2009

More on the Lockerbie bomber

Filed under: Politics — David Jenkins @ 1:43 pm

Here are two very different views of Scotland’s release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. The first is from Anglican bishop and theologian N. T. Wright who believes, among other things, that the British see things differently from the U.S. – N. T. Wright certainly does. Even though the U.K. mood is illogical, one gets the impression that Wright approves of it as he tut-tuts about Abu Graib and U.S. anti-Arab sentiment. And all this is from a bishop whose country is home to the BNP.

Many people in the UK see the reaction in the U.S. as being typical U.S. anti-Arab and particularly anti-Libya reaction. Because we are conditioned to be a bit worried about U.S. knee-jerk pro-Israel attitudes we tend to distance ourselves from that kind of position. Please note, I am NOT saying any of this is particularly significant in terms of the actual decision, just that it is the context within which the debate is going on. Many in the UK have been horrified, too, by the ongoing sagas about Abu Graib, Guantanamo Bay and so on, and in consequence do not like being told by America how to treat prisoners. This may be illogical but it’s the mood at the moment. I know that most Americans do not like being told by Brits how to do things either; that comes with the territory ever since George Washington vs King George III. So be it.

A different perspective from Chuck Colson:

Scotland has made a mockery of justice. Ask the families of the 270 people al-Megrahi murdered.

By any measure, serving only eight years in prison for blowing up an airplane full of people is nothing short of scandalous. Surely there are appropriate ways to show mercy — even to a terminally ill mass murderer: Scotland could have given him palliative medical care, could have allowed family visits, or even arranged for family to stay with al-Megrahi during his last days.

In his essay, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” Christian writer C. S. Lewis argued that we ought to punish people for no other purpose than just deserts, and in so doing, we recognize that humans are free moral agents, responsible for our actions. That’s why Lewis wrote, “To be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we ‘ought to have known better,’ is to be treated as a human person made in God’s image.”

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. LEST WE FORGET…

    The dhimmis are trying to obliterate the memory of 9/11 by renaming the anniversary ‘Fluffy Bunny Day’ or something similar.

    Could all bloggers please remember to mark this anniversary with maximum publicity.

    Also, another anniversary that the dhimmis would like to slip from public consciousness occurs next week. On the first of September 2004 a group of Islamic terrorists, following the example of their prophet ‘the perfect man’ , began the siege of Beslan school which resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 Christian children, with girls being raped and babies knifed. Many of the children were humiliated by being forced to drink their own urine before being killed. Humiliation of the kuffar is very important in Islam.

    Please ensure this act of Islamic infamy is not forgotten.

    Comment by Moss — August 27, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

  2. I think reactions (here in Britain, but probably elsewhere, also) are complicated by the thing we’re constatly hearing (and you, and maybe Chuck Colson, don’t mention): the possibility that the Lockerbie bombing had nothing to do with this man – or Libya, but originated in Syria and/or Iran; making al-Megrahi, and Libya, fall guys. Tom Wright’s complaint about US anti-Arabism/pro-Israelism seems to me to be part of the anti-Israel climate found here (and other places – is the US really so pro-Israel, these days?). Wright doesn’t mention (I think I’ve read the whole piece, elsewhere) a very strong feeling, over here: that for decades we suffered the atrocities of terrorists every bit as evil as Al Quaeda, who were financed, and protected from extradition/trial, by Americans (some, not all): the IRA. Indeed, in the 1970s/80s, the US was a terrorist’s safe haven much like parts of Pakistan is said to be today.

    Comment by John Thomas — August 28, 2009 @ 8:09 am


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: