The ettiquette of forgiveness or seeking recourse in justice
" At 7:22 AM, Anonymous said...
Thank you for "Maaf zahir dan batin." As a Christian, I appreciate it especially. You speak better on this topic than many Christians.Do you have a comment on the execution of Saddam Hussein, his call for forgiveness and the rejoicing of his enemies? Anything you might say would be interesting, whether pro or con. "
The post "Maaf Zahir dan Batin" has generated quite a bit of discussion that its definitely one topic I had to revisit more than once. I had earlier written a subsequent article and now i am writing another article on the topic. It is highly probable that this topic is generating so much discussion because we are living in world where we and those around us have a great incapacity to neither forgive truely nor seek recourse appropriately.
On the execution of Saddam Hussein
Undeniably Saddam Hussein is responsible for the killing of a lot of innocent people including women and children of kurdish ethnicity and shia denomination. I was surprised yesterday when a friend said these allegations might be just propaganda. The prevalence of inaccuracy and bullshit in conventional and mainstream media has indeed causing people to distrust truths. Till today the mainstream media has failed to fully document the attrocities of Saddam such that laymen have only been hearing about Saddam's attrocities but have not been able to really know about it.
I remember sitting in an arab cafe in Montreal and watching Al-Arabia(a non-mainstream media) channel documentary about Saddam in which they showed one of his speeches when he first came to power. He listed a string of names and vowed in a calm tone that he will eliminate them and he actually did with brute force. I almost choked on my kebab hearing that chilling speech of Saddam who made it sound so normal as if he is going to exterminate some cockroaches in his house. Again recently i saw another chilling video in BBC of how in his early days there was once during which he was giving a press conference and one individual in the audience was a dissident who stood up and shouted at Saddam, only to be dragged outside in front of the media and shot dead. Saddam justified it and I am sure Saddam would have justified all his other killings as not wrongful and instead were necessary to protect Iraq. His "method to protect Iraq", even if we are to accept it as truly to protect Iraq, is not justified when he, without any restraint, started to destroy the lives of people even remotely related to it.
This definitely calls for recourse in justice or forgiveness of Saddam and Iraqis are justified to pursue the former. However, they totally blew it by doing it in the most inappropriate, unjust and barbaric fashion reducing it to nothing less than revenge. They had every opportunity to have tried Saddam in a fair manner and perhaps even excute him in a less than barbaric manner than how they have done now. From the beginning it was clear that the current Iraqi government just wanted to avenge Saddam than justice. What is appalling is the West stood and watch and benignly supported this with their inaction. We are currently seeing how the West is so up at arms with Libya in the HIV infection trial invovling the doctor and European nurses. The West have condemned and are trying to disrupt it claiming the trial was not conducted in a fair manner. Saddam's trial was also not fairly conducted and you did not see the West worried at all about it. So what if Saddam is hated by all of us for what he did. He still needed a fair trial and proper execution. It defeats the whole purpose of trying him then if one justifies the treatment of him by the courts by the very degree to which he is dangerous. The courts can skip all the processes and just put a bullet through every dangerous criminal. It does matter how justice is rendered or else it will be injustice.
It is equally sick to see how a state execution was broadcasted live across the world where it was no different in barbarity from Al-Qaeda's beheadings. I simply could not comprehend how people can rejoice or watch with joy the taking away of a life, even if that life is corrupt and dangerous and cruel.
On Saddam's call for forgiveness
Did he really and truly forgive everyone? We wont know. Anyway why is he making that call for Iraqis to forgive one another now when his fellow Kurdish and Shia Iraqis are no more his number one enemies? Why did he not show forgiveness in his decades of rule? Its like Pharoah when at the time when he was going to be drowned during which it was all over, he called upon God to say he is willing to accept Him and instead reject God all throughout his life.
Nevertheless it is only logical a call because for Iraq to move on or save itself from total destruction, what is required amongst Iraqis is forgiveness.
On the rejoicing of the end of Saddam by his enemies
After having been under the oppression of Saddam and some having seen their loved ones been killed ruthlessly, its understandable to rejoice at the end of Saddam's era. However in the same breath i must say its sick to rejoice the barbaric manner Saddam was finished. As Dr.Mahathir just said, its public murder and to rejoice that is undeniably inhumane and beastly.
This whole episode has taught us two important lessons. Firstly, when we seek recourse in justice, unless we do it fairly and appropriately, it only reduces to cruelty, barbarity and injustice and perhaps even murder. Secondly as the Creator has clearly shown, where one has to choose between justice and mercy, the best option will be the latter.