Ashraf al-Akhrass, the groom whose wedding became a national tragedy last November in Amman, pleaded with the court today to give Sajida al-Rishawi the death penalty. Sajida is of course one of the suicide bombers of the Amman bombings who failed, but whose husband succeeded in blowing himself up at Al-Akhrass’s wedding killing 18 family members including his father, father-in-law and mother-in-law.
Rishawi pleaded not-guilty to the charges.
The death penalty is not something I’m particularly fond of, specifically because I think most nations which practice it rarely do so as a last resort. Even if we are factoring in Islam I’m lead to believe that the world has come a long way in the past few centuries and alternatives have presented themselves. I do however see it as a necessary ‘evil’ for specific crimes.
But here is Sajida Al-Rishawi, a woman who walked into a wedding ballroom in a 5 star hotel in Amman, like many of us often have. And strapped with a belt of explosives failed to detonate; whose husband across the room managed to kill so many people.
I’m putting myself in Ashraf’s shoes here. It would be idealistic to stand up in court and plead for nothing less than her death. I can’t begin to comprehend his situation; when the happiest day of one’s life becomes the worst, a wedding becomes a funeral.
I wonder if even the absolute opponents of the death penalty would want any less.