Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
The gunman who allegedly killed at least 17 people at a Florida high school on Wednesday was a former student who posted disturbing material on social media and was “crazy about guns.” Police identified the suspect as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami.
The whole nation is mourning the loss and my sympathies and prayers and of the whole of our editorial team, are for the families of the victims.
The media is extensively covering the story, but as is the routine from the usual angles of gun control and mental health issues. The discussion always seems myopic and there are some important questions and angles that the national US media never seems to tackle!
Why do the criminals, domestic and the international terrorists not regard human lives as precious and sacred? Even if Nikolas Cruz was mentally ill or depressed how did he decide he should kill dozens randomly in the school that he was expelled from? Why did he lose the respect and awe of human life? Is every human life precious and sacred and of infinite value? Does the value of human life depend on the nationality, religion or social status? What about the lives of innocents who lose their lives in air bombings and are referred to as collateral damage? Does taking some of the human lives as less than others, affect the morbid psychology of persons like Nikolas Cruz in any way?
Do we need a broader discussion on the value of human life and its inviolability and take greater measures to educate everyone, including our political leaders and armed forces, mentally sick and healthy, about this and make a case from every perspective that humans hold infinite value, be it religion, science, social norms and whatever else anyone of us can think of?
I believe that if we want to save lives, it does not have to be an exercise only when mass shooting or some other tragedy strikes, but a continuous year around effort.
As a Muslim I can say that my holy scripture tells me and each and every Muslim that every human life is precious and sacred and killing one is like triggering a genocide. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
As an American, I can say that our Declaration of Independence says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As a citizen of our global village, I can say that the Article 3 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
Let us go out and educate and inspire everyone and make our villages, our towns, our countries and our global village safer for our human family.
— Raziya Mohamedali (@RMohamedali) February 17, 2018
— The Muslim Times (@The_MuslimTimes) July 8, 2016