[FOUNTAIN]A reminder is given of the sanctity of life

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[FOUNTAIN]A reminder is given of the sanctity of life

You cannot control everything that is on your mind. For example, it is often hard to suppress desire or jealousy. Once caught with such emotions, you need determination and will to keep them under control.
How about more noble deeds such as devotion or sharing? Until they bring true pleasure and become second nature, it cannot be said that such spirited behaviors are one’s own. In that sense, knowledge, passion, love or will are not entirely one’s own.
Life is what keeps these human elements alive. Life is a fresh energy, soaring light and radiant spirit. One day, you received life and were born.
Even if it is your own life, you cannot use it as you please. Your life was given from above, and it will be taken away from you when the time comes. You are alive, but your life does not belong to you. Much more, it is unthinkable to mess with someone else’s life.
Islamic doctrine is filled with respect for life. According to Koran 2:190, Allah commanded, “You may fight in the cause of God against those who attack you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors.” The Islamic rules of war, which have been refined and respected for over 14 centuries, designate that Muslim fighters should only fight combatants and never kill civilians.
The Islamic militant group that kidnapped and murdered Kim Sun-il is Jamaat Al-Tawhid wal Jihad, meaning “monotheism and holy struggle.” It took life away from Mr. Kim, who had no intention of fighting back. It betrayed the order of the one and only God. By killing a civilian, the group broke the law of the religion they are fighting to protect. The kidnappers wore the masks of Muslim fighters, but they were not Muslim.
Mr. Kim’s funeral took place in his hometown of Busan on Wednesday. As his soul ascends to heaven, he might have thought, “It is God who takes away life. I only managed the life within me. It is a sin if one has taken his own life or someone else’s.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, the entire world felt lost and distraught in the face of terrifying tragedy. We all felt powerless and dizzy as we watched the burning towers. On June 22, 2004, we were again reminded how valuable a life is. The story of Mr. Kim will be long remembered by adults and children, their children and on and on.


by Chun Young-gi

The writer is deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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