THE EDITOR: The traumatic death of a young doctor who was reported to have been kidnapped, has led to the cry from a friend to “forgive them.” This is in fact sending a wrong message to criminals. If criminals are assured that they will be forgiven then they will continue to perpetuate criminal activity.
Crime and punishment bear a symbiotic relationship. It is the reason there are courts to hand down verdicts and prescribe punishment. Forgiveness is appropriate only after there is repentance and reform.
While I empathise with the friend and family on this tragic loss, I cannot help but conclude that such an outburst is really a manifestation of a total hopelessness in our society where crime is concerned.
Harvard University a few days ago ranked the Qur'an as the best book for justice. If some of the laws that are prescribed in the Qur'an on crime and punishment are implemented, then the “crisis” in which we are may be alleviated. Among such laws is that which relates to theft:
“And (as for) the man and the woman addicted to theft, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is mighty, wise. But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, Allah will turn to him (mercifully). Surely Allah is forgiving, merciful” (ch 5, verses 38 and 39).
IMAAM IQUBAL HYDAL
Iere Village Mosque