Dr Karen Woo (and colleagues) RIP

I single out Doctor Karen Woo among the members of the medical team who were murdered in Afghanistan, not because the tributes which are rightly being paid to her do not also apply to the other members of the team, but because the extensive news coverage today has not named most of the other victims. I understand that the team leader, also murdered in the attack, was Tom Little from America.

The story of this team and what happened to them is an illustration of the best and worst of which human beings are capable.

Dr Woo and her colleagues had skills which would have enabled them to enjoy a comfortable, well remunerated and safe existence in Britain, America, or Germany. They risked their lives to work in much less pleasant conditions because they were helping the poor, and if there is a heaven I am as certain as one could ever be that heaven will be their destination.

Those responsible for the murder of this medical team demonstrated the most egregious evil of which human beings are capable. I note with disgust that the Taleban have claimed responsibility for this atrocity and attempted to justify it on the ludicrous grounds that some the victims allegedly had bibles in one of the main Afghan languages in their possession, and were therefore supposedly trying to spread the Christian message.

Even if this pathetic apologia were true, which I doubt, it would no more justify these murders than Christians in Britain would be justified in searching anyone of foreign or Islamic appearance, and gunning down like a dog anyone who was found with a copy of the Koran in English.

Heroes like Dr Woo and her colleagues should be remembered for giving their livesin a selfless effort to help the Afghan people.


Anonymous said…
Well said
Dave Lucas said…
I singled out Dr. Woo because I've been following her blog, "Explorer Kitten" - A really needless death, a great waste of talent. She shouldn't have been hanging with a bunch of people who had a religious agenda. More of my thoughts here.
Anonymous said…
Well stated. May we all meet in the promised land.

S.J. Ing
Chris Whiteside said…
Thanks for those thoughts. I agree with most of what Dave Lucas said, but the murders of all the members of that team were needless deaths - and this would still be true if they did have a religious agenda other than to heal the sick, which I doubt.

Turn it around: suppose some bunch of murderous psychopaths kidnapped a team of doctors from, say, West Cumberland Hospital who happened to be Muslims, found that one of them had a copy of the Koran in English, and used this to "justify" murdering the entire team as missionaries.

Would any reasonable person consider that whether the medical professionals had a "religious agenda" was in any way relevant to the fact that they had been murdered?

I don't think so.

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