When the law has been followed in letter and spirit, then justice is deemed to have been done. What if justice itself is unjust?
Consider this recent occurrence: An 18-year old Saudi Arabian girl had gone to meet a boy with whom she had had a relationship to recover some photos from him, which he was using to blackmail her. The couple was abducted by a gang and the girl was raped, repeatedly. The case reached the court, which ruled that the girl and the boy each had to suffer 90 lashes. The rapists were sentenced to undergo imprisonment of between 10 months and five years. The girl appealed against the sentence, only to have her punishment increased to 200 lashes and six months’ imprisonment! The reason: She had tried to influence the case by using the media!
Appalling, bewildering, outrageous, stinking …. there can be any number of words to describe this judgement. But such things do happen, and have been happening, and we keep allowing them to happen and will continue to allow them to happen. The question is: what can we do to see that such blatant injustice masquerading as ‘justice’ does not continue to determine the way our co-habitants on the planet live?
We cannot allow the incident to lose itself disguised as the ‘internal affair’ of a sovereign nation. Activism or trampling over deep-rooted cultural and religious sentiments will not get any relief for the affected either. Such over-zealous moves will only ensure such acts are undertaken clandestinely, or worse, make life more miserable for the victim as in the present case.
However, a deliberate, measured and sustained discussion – in the media, on blogs, in community centres – moved by altruistic motives alone, could initiate a crusade for change, and possibly render in a revolutionary and paradigm shift in the way laws – be they of religion or any other source – are made and applied.