Articles and Papers The Execution of Osama Bin Laden

The Execution of Osama Bin Laden

I am a South African. In 1994, South Africa abolished capital punishment. I rejoiced; some did not; some go on calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty. I do not.

The killing of Osama Bin Laden was a form of capital punishment. Bin Laden himself, believed in the right to take life in a just cause; i.e. in capital punishment. And he destroyed thousands of lives. His execution also represents the right to take life in a just cause, i.e. capital punishment.

I do not condone capital punishment; capital punishment requires my consent as a citizen and I do not consent. I do not believe that anyone has the right to arrogate to himself the right to kill. Bin Laden did and so did his enemies.

Opposing views of Bin Laden

Monster, mass murderer        Revolutionary

Terrorist                                  Freedom Fighter

A threat to civilized values      Activist against corruption

Criminal                                  Anti-imperialist

Satanic                                   Seeker after justice

I do not believe in the dichotomy of good and evil. Good and evil are conflated in human beings. If we understand the value of life, that in this whole universe the only life we have identified is the life we know on earth, we must see how precious that makes it,  Then we will  understand that we must strive to develop the good in us and not destroy life. We live in communities to protect and nurture life and that requires us to control the evil in us and develop the good. But because we live in different communities, we focus on our differences and allow the evil in our natures to grow. And so we kill and destroy the miracle that is life.

It is idealistic to take to heart that one most important commandment: "Thou shalt not kill" but I would rather be an idealist than a murderer. Condoning an execution makes me a murderer by proxy.

I prefer to follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, Catherine Hamlin and all those who promote life.

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