Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bishop: Ends cannot justify the means

2:56PM Oct 28, 2014
By Terence Netto
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing describes the reasons given by the Attorney-General’s Chambers for not prosecuting Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for threatening to burn Bibles as “essentially a rehash of the communist credo that the end justifies the means”.

In a reaction to the statement put out by the AG’s Chambers yesterday that sought to justify the decision not to prosecute Ibrahim, the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese said: “You shake that justification down to its core and what have you - essentially a rehash of the communist credo that the end justifies the means.”

Bishop Paul Tan (left) added: “I thought that with communism’s demise or near demise throughout the world, its ideological scaffolding would be interred for good. But no, aspects of it are alive and well in the Attorney General’s Chambers.”

The Jesuit-trained prelate termed as “specious” the argument tendered by the AG’s Chambers that one had to look at the context in which Ibrahim had issued the threat to determine whether it had seditious tendencies.

“That is tantamount to saying that if the end is preservation of the sanctity of Islam then threats nominally considered as incendiary can be issued as the means to achieve that transcendent goal.

“Going by this argument, what is the justification for stopping people from here from going over to join the Islamic State in Syria?

“Isn’t the Islamic State, according to their credo, engaged in an endeavour to preserve the sanctity of Islam and the safety of believers?” argued the bishop.

The prelate said any reliance on arguments in which the end is allowed to justify the means would open a Pandora’s Box of retreats from the civic values that undergird democratic society.

“The end result is a culture of double standards and the schizophrenia that that induces in society. The attorney-general should not justify the indefensible,” asserted the bishop.

~ Malaysiakini

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