According to the Prime Minister, it is.
Australian Catholic University yesterday revealed plans it was going to create a scholarship in honour of the two executed Bali nine ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Whilst a kind gesture for the families of the deceased, it has had many scratching their heads, including the PM.
Speaking to 2GB, Mr Abbott responded to the decision saying while he deplores what happened this week, there can be no sympathy to drug trafficking, “absolutely none”.
He called the university’s choice very odd, “Particularly for an institution which is supposed to stand up for the best values.
“I know part of Christian faith is forgiveness, but another part of Christian faith is calling people to be their best selves”.
“All of [the men’s repentance] is admirable, but whether that justifies what has apparently been done, I think, is open to profound question”.
On Friday, Vice Chancellor of ACU, Professor Greg Craven, released a statement explaining the reasoning for the university’s decision to create a scholarship
“We did this because ACU is committed to the dignity of the human person, and that applies equally to all human beings: victims as well as to those who have been convicted of crimes,” the statement said.
“As a Catholic university committed to promoting a culture of life, we stand opposed to the death penalty.
“The scholarships would be a fitting tribute to the reformation, courage and dignity of the two men”.
Indonesian students applying to study in Australia would be eligible, and part of their application would involve an essay on the sanctity of human life.
“In a small but deeply symbolic way, the writing by Indonesian students on the sanctity of life would be an ongoing contribution toward the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia”.
So what do you think? Is this a step too far? Should these men be glorified in an academic institution? What message is it sending?