Sunday, October 01, 2006

Capital Punishment in Ramadan

Alongwith several other countries, India has also been a victim of several terror attacks. Perhaps the most daring (and thankfully unsuccessful) attack was in December 2001 on the Indian Parliament.

Last week, an Indian court convicted Mohammed Afzal Guru of Kashmir for the attack and ordered his hanging at 6 am on October 20. This has led to a series of political posturing and mass protests in Kashmir where people believe that Afzal is being wrongfully charged.

What is important is that the date fixed for Afzal's hanging is 20 October, the Jum'a-tul-Wida or last Friday of Ramadan, and just before Diwali (October 21), the Hindu festival celebrating victory of Truth. Due to these, the entire issue is becoming a communal cauldron with political leaders of Kashmir proposing a mercy petition to the President and Hindu outfits demanding the execution be carried out as scheduled. Link

The Chief Minister of Kashmir anticipates violence and unrest if the date is maintained and has requested for a postponement. Afzal, apparently, is unfazed and ready to die the death of a martyr.

I am not trying to start a political debate here but to share some of the thoughts that are on the minds of Indian Muslims as they go through the month of Ramadan...How is it in Islamic countries? Are capital punishments carried out during Ramadan?

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