a difference of opinion

S:    Hang on. Weren’t you lecturing me yesterday on the sanctity of all life, on the cruelty of assisted suicide even for a paralysed, injured man in pain?

A:    That’s totally different. We’re talking about guilty people now.

S:    Oh, is that right? So by order of our utterly flawless justice system, any man or woman found guilty of any crime that carries the death penalty, should be hanged by the neck until dead. That is what you mean, yes?

A:    Rapists, murderers, pedophiles? Can you imagine how drastically crime would decrease if we actually started acting on the death penalty?

S:    Yes, but please include blasphemers, innocent people, minorities, in your list of people who ought to be killed by our laws. How on earth can you profess such undying faith in a justice system that carries such enormous risk of erring? They’d execute anyone for the heck of it. It’s a road you don’t want to go down.

A:    See, you and I, we are just seeing things in a different light, Sadiq. I see the justice system as something that can and should be reformed. Once reformed, once cleansed of all these contaminated laws, once it resembles a truer version of an Islamic constitution, things will fall into place. I don’t mean Shariah law because I think we don’t understand the dynamic, fluid nature of our own religion. But this issue of punishments, it makes a lot of sense. It sets precedents...

S:    I’m going to stop you right there...

A:    At least have the patience to hear me out.

S:    Sometimes the things you say, Ameen. Does any evidence exist about the dynamism of religious constitutions and laws? What leads you to believe that a group of corrupt and self seeking men would be able to implement your holy and perfect religion? That innocent people won’t suffer by the rigidity of punishments handed out? Ever heard of the blasphemy law, Ameen? I can’t be in the same room as you right now. Time for some air.