Father Forgives Son’s Killer

Azim Khamisa’s son (Tariq Khamisa) was shot and killed by a 14 year gang member (Tony hicks) while delivering pizza. Mr. Khamisa compliments his son by saying “Tariq was a great soul, wise, charismatic, good-looking, a college student with a beautiful girlfriend who he planned to marry.” Just like any reasonable person will feel, Mr. Khamisa was devastated from his son’s senseless death and wanted justice but later realized that the most satisfying justice is to forgive.  During his interview with CBS News, He states and realized this incident is about “two victims at both ends of the gun,”. After forgiving Tony Hicks, Mr. Khamisa has developed a father and son relationship, writes him in jail and plans to employ him into his job if he is able to come out.

Tony Hicks Grandfather,Tony Hicks (Killer), Azim Khamisa

Mr. Azim Khamisa

Triq Khamisa

We all can acknowledge that men are harsher, hard headed, and unsympathetic than females. Hrdy supports this ideology by stating that men will most likely take care of a child on these conditions:  (1)Long-standing familiarity with the immature. (2)The nearby infant is urgently in need of rescue. (3)The male has a relationship with the mother. These reasons conclude that a legitimate reason needs to be established in order for a man to cater to a child. I feel like Mr. Khamisa wishing to act as an alloparent to his son’s murderer when he completes his sentence goes beyond Hrdy’s theory.  A reasonable person will agree that Mr. khamisa possess a legitimate to hate Tony Hicks rather than willing to cater to him. So what pushed him to go beyond the norm or do men posses much deeper paternal instinct that goes beyond what society perceives it to be?


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2 Responses to Father Forgives Son’s Killer

  1. What a tear-jerker! This is a really great story and you do an excellent job of framing it in terms of class concepts. I think you are totally within your rights to say that Mr. Khamisa is acting as an alloparent. How would Hrdy explain this, I wonder?

    There are a number of cultures around the world that have similar beliefs regarding murder. That when one person kills another, the offender has forfeited their life to the family of the victim not in the sense of capital punishment, but that now you owe your life in service of the victim’s family.

    Where your cultural bias shows is in your conclusion when you state that “A reasonable person will agree that Mr. Khamisa possess a legitimate [right, sic] to hate Tony Hicks.” This is actually a very American thing to say. What Mr. Khamisa’s compassion underscores is how culture determines what our ideas of justice are. There’s no biological reason why a victim’s father would hate his killer, its our culture that provides us with the means to interpret our experiences and guide our actions.

  2. e924919 says:

    I do think men posses a deeper paternal instinct than what society portrays it. It might not be all men in its entirety, but majority of the men out in society nowadays are just as loving and caring as the mothers in this world. Society in the United States primarily focuses on the negative aspect of this subject, you hear a lot about the deadbeat dads who left their child and wife for another family, or were drug addicts and could never regain control of their own lives. You often don’t hear stories like this one, where a courageous, admiring father forgives the killer of his son. Even though it took him about 5 years to first meet the killer, he still was sympathetic enough to take the time out of his day to sit down and talk with this man. I personally would have never forgiven such acts, but all people are different and that is the beauty of life. It takes people like Mr. Khamisa to lead example to situations similar to this.

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