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Last week I clicked on through to IOL News, fearing News24 had been chewed up and spat out by trolls in their comment section of every single one of their articles. What headlined was – “Sex worker’s headless body found in KZN”. I raised an eyebrow, put down my cup of coffee and began to read.

According to the article:
“The body of a decapitated woman has been found in Shallcross, Chatsworth. Desiree Murugan, 39, was discovered by municipal maintenance staff at the Shallcross sports stadium on Monday.
One of the workers who discovered the body, Zama Ntsoyana, said: “When we got to the ground to work we saw the body from far away and thought that it was a doll. When we approached the body we saw flies.” Ntsoyana said they phoned the municipal offices and informed them. She said they had searched for the head to no avail. Ntsoyana said the incident had left her deeply disturbed: “I am still frightened. I have never seen such a thing in my whole life.”
Desiree Murugan had been working as a prostitute, according to her family.”

My initial reaction of abhorrence changed immediately to sympathy. The only thing I could think about was imagining the last few minutes of her life on Earth. I began to think about the terror that she most certainly must have felt – the fear and hurt. The culmination of 39 years of life ending in the most brutal manner. I think what added insult to injury were the comments below the article. Jokes began to pour forth unabated. Hundreds of them, one after the other. Replies to jokes, puns, taunts, silent sniggers. It made me think, “Well, shucks. Had the article been titled “Man found headless in KZN” there would be none of this. Why is she the butt of jokes because of her gender and occupation?”

Let me be crystal clear here,
1) A murder is not funny.
2) A murder of a mother is not funny.
3) A murder of a sex worker if not funny.
4) A murder of a wife is not funny.
5) A murder of a woman is not funny.

From an Islamic perspective, Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an. Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

Here’s a thought – every time you feel the urge to say something horribly negative, count to five, think it through, remember that your words have an impact on the people around you and most importantly – act with dignity.

Fi amaanilah.