Friday, January 29, 2010

A moment for Moosa

"Bad things do happen, of course. It's just that they don't seem to happen nearly as often as in the States. And stranger-on-stranger crimes are rare."

A few days before I casually typed those words in early December, a four-year-old boy named Moosa had been found dead in a restroom at his neighborhood mosque in Dubai. Police soon learned that a man had lured him away from his friends with the promise of an Eid holiday gift, then raped and murdered him.

The man confessed and the trial was swift. The story that unfolded was all too familiar: the gruesome details of the crime; the lonely, pathetic history of the killer; the grief of the family.

This week, the man was sentenced to death by firing squad. Curiously, before he is executed he must serve a six-month sentence for drinking alcohol on the night before the murder.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say with this post. Maybe that I was wrong; that even one such horrific crime makes a place just as bad as anywhere else. Maybe I feel guilty for not thinking of Moosa when I wrote that item in December. Mostly, though, I'm just hoping you'll take a moment to think of him today.


  1. Hi Uncle Robert, this is your nephew. Aunt Linda pointed me here and I’m enjoying your musings and pictures and such. Thinking about this story I can't help but consider that we might have fewer of these tragedies here at home if we too had the guts to impose such uncompromising discipline. It absolutely blows my mind, and turns my stomach, to hear and read about the sentences that these kinds of acts, perpetrated against children, tend to effectuate. In U.S. prisons those who abuse a child, even if murder is not involved, must be separated from the general population because if not, they would be immediately beaten, shanked, or even killed. So this forces the conclusion that, in this particular case at least, the imprisoned are doing what the court system failed to do; deliver appropriate justice. And I have to agree. I personally feel that there is no greater crime than that which was inflicted on Moosa, and even if he had survived the attack, I believe his assailant should still have paid the same price.
    What do you think Uncle?

  2. Hi MIchael. Great to hear from you. What struck me most about the case was the swiftness with which it was resolved. Even though other courts might eventually come to the same conclusion, it would likely take months or even years to get there.

  3. Good god...or is that phrase an oxymoron?

    Heartbreaking, all the way around.