Malaysian Riots’ Victim Is Brilliant Ambassador For His Country And His Faith

This commentary by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith appeared in the Catholic Herald UK. Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest and a doctor of moral theology. He is the author of several books.

Commentary on the recent criminal disturbances on our streets is now pretty much wall to wall on all media outlets, so I apologise for returning to the subject.

Watching the news last night, I was much struck by the sight of a mother and son leaving court in Manchester.

The boy was 12 years old. He and his mother covered their heads as they left the court, but not in shame, it seems the woman shouted angry abuse at reporters. Here you have a clear example of bad parenting. What sort of mother shouts abuse at others in front of her own child? What sort of example is that? You can see the footage here, in case you missed it, at seven minutes in.

But lest we despair of human nature, let us remember that there are good people out there too. One such is Mohammad Ashraf Haziq, the young Malaysian student who had his jaw broken by rioters, who then robbed him, all caught on video. And how is he feeling now? Angry? Well might he be, after suffering considerable pain and being the victim of a crime. But his reaction is to say that he felt sad for his attackers, because among them were children, one of primary school age.

I know absolutely nothing about the background of this exemplary, polite and charming young man, but he is just the sort of person to make his parents and extended family proud, and he is a brilliant ambassador for his country. Compare and contrast his behaviour with that of our home-bred youngsters now going through the courts.

One last observation. Mohammad Ashraf Haziq is obviously a Muslim, and, though I have no way of knowing how religious he is, a good advertisement for his faith. There have been other stories in the last few days which have reflected well on members of the Muslim and Sikh communities. But in none of this have I detected much of a Catholic angle: where were all the Catholics in this?

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