Monday, August 24, 2009

A Message From Scotland

It is regrettable that the Scottish parliament met in Emergency Session to challenge the actions of Premier, Kenny MacAskill. I applaud Mr. MacAskill for his "political daring," in freeing Abdel Basset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds because he is dying of cancer.

I support his criticism of Libya for the celebrations that greeted “the bomber’s” return to Tripoli. "A decision had to be made," MacAskill told the packed chamber in the Scottish capital. "It was based on the law of Scotland, and the values I believe we seek to uphold. It was not based on political, diplomatic or economic considerations."

Relatives of U.S. victims have strongly condemned the Scottish government over its decision to release Megrahi, 57 (the only person convicted of the bombing of the Pan Am jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people). I am not oblivious of their feelings, nor am I opposed to rightful punishment. However, I believe “we” made our point by imprisoning the offender.

Political opponents now accuse MacAskill of bowing to political and/or economic pressure. Some even hint that Britain wanted the release because of Libyan oil. Obama expressed the “disgust” many feel with the “hero’s welcome.

Nonetheless, I rejoice that “someone in the world” could see more than revenge, the economics of oil, politics, and all the other “stuff.” Mr. MacAskill looked at a human being facing his greatest crisis in life and saw both a need and a deeper issue of “mercy.”

Behind that Islamic terrorist, there are family members who may, or may not have had anything to do with the Lockerbie bombing. Whether they did or not, is beside the point; they are also human beings. Premier MacAskill has granted to them their rightful responsibility to care for their family member, and ultimately to bury him.

In sending Megrahi home, MacAskill freed Scotland from the dubious task of caring for, and burying, this sick bomber. MacAskill has also made a powerful statement on behalf of many of us, for the common good of humanity. Call it grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, or whatever else you will, however it is received, it is the most powerful message that could be given in this instance.

Compassionate caring is always more powerful than hostility and hatred. Millions around the world spend their lives suffering from the overdose of hostility experienced world-wide.

Religion in the Middle East recognizes no such religious spirit, but I dare to believe Premier MacAskil recognized that the laws of Scotland have been heavily influenced by another great humanitarian. He crusaded for humanitarian causes, good relationships and equal rights for everyone some two thousand years ago. As I remember it, the religious leaders conspired with the military authorities and they crucified that man at a place called Calvary, near Jerusalem.

From Warner’s World,

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