April 8, 2014 by gregrabidoux2013
It is hard to believe the words that I am about to write. A 9 month-old baby is in hiding after being accused of taking part in an attempted murder in Pakistan. Let me check the calendar again to be sure today is not the 1st of April and I am not being made to play the fool (it wouldn’t be the first or last time, mind you).
No, I don’t appear to be the target of a tragic prank.
So, let me start again.
The baby, a nine-month old named Musa Khan, reportedly cried when they fingerprinted him at the courthouse and sucked on his bottle of milk. Hey, who doesn’t cry and want a bottle of milk when they are being processed by the cops?
Next, he grabbed the microphones of journalists covering this unfathomable incident and made, well, baby gurgling noises into the microphones (still, more coherent than the noises most criminals make when being interviewed by reporters).
But here’s the thing-How can a baby (a baby!) actually be accused of taking part in an attempted murder, let alone be processed and have a court date to be indicted and a trial scheduled?
What did baby Khan do? Did he drive the get-away carriage? Did he distract the authorities with his rattle while his grandfather and father (the other accused) do the deed?
Pakistani authorities, notorious for being corrupt, claim that the baby’s family along with other neighbors took part in a riot protesting gas rationing and price increases. When the police came to break the riot up they assert many officials were stoned and beaten nearly to death.
One of the police officials reportedly said that all lawbreakers must pay and obey, no matter what their age.
Look, I get the challenge many cultures and societies face when juveniles commit atrocious, very adult crimes. Depending on the state in our nation, young kids can be tried as adults as young as 13 years of age. The notorious case of young George Stinney, age 13 at the time of his arrest in 1944 still lingers. He was executed in the state of South Carolina for allegedly murdering two other children, aged 11 and 8.
But a baby?
Forget about the controversial ongoing debate over when one’s frontal brain lobe develops sufficiently to allow for mature reasoning and contemplation. This particular accused suspect hasn’t even switched from baby formula to real food yet.
And this is about the time when I start to get stirred up thinking about how parts of the world and other cultures use the unfathomable or disagreeable parts of our own culture and society as justification for a whole range of hostile acts against us.
If only there were some cosmic mirror of truth where we could all see our reflection laid bare and realize the error of our ways. Before it’s too late.
Sadly there is not. But I do know one thing with certainty. There is, without any equivocation, nothing right, justifiable or reasonable about arresting, indicting and trying a nine-month old baby for attempted murder.
Pakistani officials should be ashamed today. And that shame should hopefully serve as a wake-up call.
Civilized societies don’t act this way. Ever.