Life no bed of roses: Haneef lawyer

There are similarities between Christianity and Islam, according to Peter Russo, lawyer for cleared terrorism suspect, Mohammed Haneef, describing his client's understanding of jihad as "a life struggle" meaning "life isn't a bed of roses".

"He's right. Life isn't a bed of bloody roses. He says that all blood is human blood, and what he means is that all human life is precious. So what if he hates the war in Iraq? More than half the population agrees," Mr Russo told The Australian.

The lawyer said that he believed that he had developed a close connection with Mr Haneef.

"I think we do have a close connection. I've been asking him a lot of questions about the Koran, and what his faith means to him. I've learned a lot from him. There are similarities between Christianity and his beliefs. Do you want me to give you a couple of examples?

"They made a big issue in the police interview about jihad. But his understanding of jihad is that it is just a struggle. It's a life struggle," Mr Russo, a Catholic said.

"He talked to me about revenge in the Koran. He said his belief is something along the lines of: you're offered a higher place in paradise if you forgive than if you take revenge on your enemy. He says forgiveness is paramount. You're a better Muslim if you forgive."

According to The Australian Russo gives the impression of having experienced a powerful and personal journey since he first met Haneef in the days after he was arrested by AFP agents while trying to board a July 2 one-way flight to India.

Lawyer's own legal ordeal (The Australian, 29/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mohammed Haneef (Wikipedia)

Distinguish Muslim friends from enemies, says Pell (CathNews, 5/3/07)
Pell says Catholics should read the Koran (CathNews, 4/5/06)

30 Jul 2007