Blog: Rejoicing at the Death of a Man - When the World Lost its Morality
Something about the way the world has been rejoicing at the death of Osama Bin Laden strikes me as being very disturbing. Does this demonstrate humanity, does this even show how low we can stoop, if we are celebrating the death of a fellow human being with such gusto and joy?
I know that celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden in some way gives us an avenue where we can channel all our pent up frustration and disgust about the scourge of terrorism. Since 9/11, and after the terror threats and terrorist acts perpetrated against innocent people in London, Madrid, India, and across the world, it is only human to consider terrorism and those who spread terror as being totally against principles of morality. But if morality lies in being happy at the death of a man, however 'evil' and 'despicable' he might have been, then I fear that we have drastically altered the definition of morality.
I am not an expert at terrorism, and far from being an expert in morality, but it is not humane to consider the death of a terrorist as an opportunity to rejoice. Rather, it puts our concept of humanity into harsher perspective, and poses questions which need answers before the world surrenders to the scandalous aggrandizement and ruthless chase towards the moulding of information and news to suit the interests of the powerful. Certain powerful nations in the world are using the media as a tool to adapt news stories so as to create psychosis and instill fear and hate in the minds and hearts of people. And the social networks that we have are only further devices to spread the message of the powerful, to create the impression that there is a war between Good and Bad, and that the Bad must be punished/destroyed/mutilated before peace can reign. What we fail to see is this this handful of nations, all supposedly acting in the name of peace, are the ones which are furthering wars and building a platform which gives precedence to hate/violence/terrorism.
The US claim that we must get rid of terrorism, but they are themselves practising terrorism. What is the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist? Nelson Mandela was labelled as a terrorist when he was merely fighting for the rights of minorities. I am not defending terrorists and I, for one, despise religious fundamentalism and jihaads, which are stifling democracy and killing innocent women and children. However, what I am pointing at is the ways that the US are using to destroy terrorism. Is torture acceptable? Is water-boarding acceptable? A recent study about the treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre has demonstrated that innocent people have been tortured and then released when they were found to be perfectly innocent. People have been stopped and arrested at airports and other places only because of their religious affiliations, people have been mercilessly tortured because they 'had links with terrorists organizations', links that were not even proved, doubts which had not even been double checked. If torture is acceptable, then I am afraid to say that the terrorists will be even more incensed and spread fear and terror around them.
Torture is not the answer to terrorism, nor is using the media to develop a culture of fear and hatred. The US have until now, openly defied and broken every rule of international law, freely by passing the resolutions of the United Nations and refusing to adhere to strict rules of war, all in the name of destroying terrorism. How long can the US continue to invade countries because they have ulterior motives and selfish personal interests? How long can they consider the UN to be nothing more than a 'farce'? As far as I remember, the UN resolution only gave permission/approval for a no-fly zone over Libya. It read that the "Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, [shall] take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory — requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures." Pretty soon, the UN resolution will also be by passed so that the US can continue fighting in the name of 'peace and democracy.' If they are fighting for democracy, why not invade the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there have been gross violations of human rights for years now? Why not invade Sudan and stop the mass killings in Darfur? Maybe because you won't find much oil in Sudan and Congo?
I cannot comprehend why the world is rejoicing at the death of Osama Bin Laden, Frankly, it took 10 years to hunt down a terrorist, it took billions of dollars to find his whereabouts and finally shoot him down? As far as I remember,article 10 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that "everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him." Then, how can we derogate from that right? Only because Osama is a terrorist? Yeah, maybe the US should now ask for an amendment to the Declaration which says that: ''everyone, except an alleged terrorist is entitled to a fair and public hearing''. Maybe now we can just arbitrarily kill people who are charged with criminal offences, without having recourse to a criminal trial. This is unacceptable and I won't ever consider myself as being a human being if I can find comfort in the death of a man.
Martin Luther King had this to say: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Osama's death is not the end of terrorism, and if people say they are only satisfied because justice has been done, then my friend, this is not justice. Justice is when a man who is accused of a crime, however heinous the crime, is brought before a court of law and then judge for his wrongs. As John Donne so verily says: "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind."