The righteous of the world aren't those who claim to be righteous, but those who do righteousness. That religiously motivated followers of God believe they act righteously, and in the name of their God, by murdering another human being is one of the tragic ironies of religion contaminated by the toxins of hate, greed, cruelty and self-validated violence.
But to brutally behead a Red Cross worker, qualified as a nurse, and working in the killers' own country to bring help and healing to the people, and under the auspices and for the medical and humanitarian ends of an organisation committed to humane and humanising behaviour - there are those who would say such blind hatred and religiously inspired cruelty is beyond words. But it is not beyond words, and must not be allowed to be.
Khalid Dale was a human being, whose humanitarian values and humane compassion, led him to a place of opportunity to help others, and knowingly putting himself in a place of personsal risk. But his presence as a Red Cross Worker, and the universal recognition of Red Cross neutrality and goodwill, should have been sufficient to guarantee his safety and dissuade opportunist or ideological kidnapping. It didn't, which is one of those events that corrodes the foundation pillars that enable the Red Cross to sustain and protect that most fragile but essential attributes of a human being - a humane humanity. That is not a tautology - it is an intensive adjective. Few things diminish the value of human life more rapidly and fatally than war, conflict, hatred, grievance, or any of these combined with religious or political ideology which eclipses all other moral concerns and itself becomes an idol.
We can guess at the motives of those who killed Khalid Dale - but it would illumine little. Some enactments of evil are beyond such explanatory analysis. They are best understood by the act and its consequences. Whole communities will suffer as a direct result of Khalid Dale's murder. People whose lives would have been saved by his experience and influence, his commitment and expertise; people struggling to survive and whose humanity is further diminished by the killing of a trusted and resourceful Red Cross Commission reprersentative. But above all that, a good man was killed by those who show little evidence of that humanity which Khalid Dale cherished, revered and died for in the name of his God - who, whatever the theological complexities, it is hard to believe is the same God as that owned so violently by his killers.
This was not an action beyond words - it was an action beyond understsanding, but not, and never, beyond condemnation. Such acts gave the original impetus to the magnificent work of the Red Cross, and they will not discourage that deeper and more resilient human motive of love, compassion and humanity. To believe otherwise is to give in to the darkness - and I for one believe "the Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it". Khalid Dale converted to Islam, and therefore he, and not his killers, is the benchmark of that great monotheistic faith and its ethical imperatives.