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the legal perspective: the west vs the islamists

Reader comment on item: Thoughts on the Killing of Osama bin Laden
in response to reader comment: Lets Make A Couple of Things Clear

Submitted by myth (Germany), May 4, 2011 at 06:27

Mike, many press commentaries look at Bin Laden's death from a legal perspective. I deeply believe this is the wrong approach to begin with. The common idea is that the west's moral superiority orginates from the rule of law. I think this is exactly what the islamists claim for themselves. They point to sharia-law whatever the question regardless of their own feelings. They would knowingly do the wrong thing for it is written and encoded in their law. We in the west should take the opposite approach. Let every individual for him oder herself decide what is right and wrong, make it a matter of personal conscience. Eventually the law can be changed to follow those choices. But it can never be perfect for not all people feel the same, they are in conflict and words cannot protect. There is no replacement for individuals making decisions and taking action on their own authority.

Applied to the Bin Laden killing my opinion is that actions like that are legitimate if open. But it should be absolutely possible for a soldier to refuse the order without any further reason given or fear of negative consequence.


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