An Eye for An Eye

by jeff douglas

Majid Movahedi is inarguably a bastard.

After Ameneh Bahrami repeatedly rebuffed his marriage offers, he repaid her by hurling acid into her face. She was blinded in both eyes, and has undergone several facial surgeries to repair, or treat, the damage done by the attack.

Her injuries are severe. Her suffering ongoing.

Thumbnail image for eye for an eye.jpgIn February of 2009, in Iran, Movahedi was sentenced to be blinded in both eyes.

It is an instance of retributive justice, known in Islamic Law as qesas.

It is the very simplest of sentencing criteria - tit for tat. And we get it. At some point in our lives, most of us have dreamed of opening up a whole can of tat on the purveyor of some tit. It's revenge, and sometimes that is exactly what we want.

It is definitely what Ameneh Bahrami wants. 

She's told reporters she'd give up the sentence in exchange for two million Euros. But what she really wants is to see Movahedi suffer like she has. In fact, she's made it clear she would be more than happy to do the blinding herself.

Iran's semi-official news agency, ISNA, reported  that the blinding - which was to have taken place this past Saturday - has been postponed. No reasons were given. 

It's not clear if Amnesty International's plea for clemency was the cause. That organization sees the punishment as cruel, verging on torture.

Me, I totally get where Ms. Bahrami is coming from. And, if I read somewhere that she had done this on her own - straight up, old fashioned vengeance - I'd probably write the screenplay. Or at least go see the movie.

But upon the most cursory search through the Quran, the following verses stand out:

42:40: Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust.

42:43: And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are actions due to courage.
Obviously, this guy should not walk away from this intolerable and cruel act of cowardice and malice, but when it comes to healing, what does revenge accomplish that forgiveness cannot? 


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