March 3, 2014

"The highest court in Iran has ordered a man's eyes to be gouged out and his ears and nose to be chopped off..."

"... for pouring acid on a girl."
The victim lost her eyes and one of her ears in the incident...
Comments at the link, which goes to a British news site include:
Well, when I first saw the headline I thought, how awful. No[w] that I read the story I think, so what....

I have absolutely no problem with doing this to convicted criminals. The only problem is that the criminal and their family are allowed to buy their way out of the punishment if they can....

Strange, I agree with the sentence....


I agree! As barbaric as it seems it is also fitting in a way...poor girl....

It's written in the Bible and Christians practiced this for over 500 years. Hindu does it too. Don't blame everything on the Muslims....

Well Christianity says an eye for an eye....

He should be made to suffer in the same way as his victim. Shooting is quick and easy....

SWEET, can I watch? Shhhh, if they end up mutilating all their men, Iraq will dust them again in another war. Shhhhh. Good job Iran!...

Seems justifiable to me....

In many parts of the Middle East and South Asia men pour acid on girls who don't want to marry them. So they ruin the girl's chances in life by destroying her face. If this was your sister or daughter, I think you'd be all for it. I look at it this way, in too few instances ANYWHERE including the US, men go unpunished for really vile deeds done to women, girls and children. Finally someone someplace decided a male should be punished for such a crime. Maybe it will only take a few such punishments to end acid attacks in Iran. It's a serious problem there.

87 comments:

Jason said...

No. Christianity does not say "an eye for an eye." That's the Old Testament, and an import from Babylonia.

David said...

Lengthly, perhaps lifetime, imprisonment would be preferable.

The punishment would seem to perpetuate the cycle of barbarity that grips the society. That's not good.

SteveR said...

Well Christianity says an eye for an eye....

No it does not. Jason was first but that deserves additional emphasis

Patrick O said...

"Christianity says eye for an eye."

Hmmm. That's not only not true, that's actually counter to a fundamental Christian message:

Jesus, in the sermon on the mount (Mt 5:38-42) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

Paul in Romans 12: "Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”"

This, of course, is one reason why Christianity has trouble with consistency when it becomes a political power or involved in the government.

Patrick O said...

What Jason and SteveR said, but with quotes.

Jason said...

Jesus told individuals not to resist an evil person. He did not tell judges not to exact retribution for crimes against the innocent.

The Crack Emcee said...

They're barbarians,...

Freeman Hunt said...

When faced with depraved criminals, I don't think the state's response should be to become depraved itself.

jr565 said...

If it were a case of punishing someone for imprisoning someone agianst their will is it wrong to imprison someone against their will when they're found guilty?
The state carrying out a sentence in the furtherance of justice that might even involve death is not the equivalent to someone commiting a crime in the first place. Even if the two might involve the same act.
Should the state gouge people eyes out and chop off their nose though? That seems A TAD drastic.

m stone said...

"An eye for an eye" simply sets limits. It was not intended to be literal, regardless of the origins.

Restitution is actually admirable. Today we "punish" criminals by providing legal representation, food and housing, sometimes for years, and the victim gets nothing or little or has to take legal civil action.

Bob Ellison said...

Iran does not act on the consent of its people, but on the guidance and self-interest of its fanatic Islamists.

The Crack Emcee said...

As "The New World" we should be showing the old countries how it's done. Instead, we don't lag that far behind, as the comments Ann posted show.

This is, partially, why we've lost the world's admiration,...

jr565 said...

“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”"

only what if the Lord doesn't repay, or repays on his time which is too late for the person seeking vengeance to get satisfaction.
WE all know people who commit atrocities and who never face punishment in their lifetime.
Is there a statue of limitations on not seeking vengeance?

harrogate said...

"When faced with depraved criminals, I don't think the state's response should be to become depraved itself."

This a thousand times.

mccullough said...

The government shouldn't be meting out the same punishment as the victims or their families. But I would acquit the victim or her family from doing this.

Hagar said...

The state's interest is in keeping the peace; not exacting vengeance on behalf of the victims.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's remember that Jesus also said that if your eye causes you to sin, you ought to pluck it out yourself.

That's got to be the least followed rule in Christianity.

And I know there's a way to reason out of the horrible conclusion that Jesus meant what he said.

The religion that takes that rule seriously isn't going to get too far. You can tell that that version of Christianity has no followers, since everyone seems to be going around with eyes, and given the low standard for what counts as sin, nearly everyone should have tripped the requirement at some point.

Ann Althouse said...

I think I read about a man in prison who gouged out his own eyes… and that was offered as evidence of his insanity (not of his deep religious devotion).

mccullough said...

Oedipus also gouged out his eyes.

Scott said...

"Let's remember that Jesus also said that if your eye causes you to sin, you ought to pluck it out yourself.

"That's got to be the least followed rule in Christianity."


Yeah, like Christ had no use for metaphors, huh.

Eat your heart out...

Seeing Red said...

We can't judge. No country is better or worse than the others.

Sam L. said...

Well, I am surprised and amazed that this sentence was passed in Iran.

Scott said...

@Seeing Red: You're being facetious, right?

madAsHell said...

Oedipus also gouged out his eyes.

That seems about right, he saw his mother naked.

Illuninati said...

I detest the Iranian regime, but in some ways this is encouraging. The punishment is barbaric and should be deplored but the fact that the man is being punished at all is encouraging. As odious as the Mullahs are, Iranian women have more rights and have a better chance to education than women in most Muslim dominated countries.

Robert Cook said...

"Is there a statue of limitations on not seeking vengeance?"

No.

In fact, we should forgive those who trespass against us, as the Lord's Prayer states. This is not just some feel-good spiritual teaching, but an essential component of living a healthy life. Grudges are like cancers that metastasize, causing psychic pain and anger, ultimately consuming the whole person and killing the life and the person who existed before.

Seeing Red said...

This is what America voted for, so am I?

Robert Cook said...

"That seems about right, he saw his mother naked."

More than that, he had hot sex with her! (I wonder if "gouging out his eyes" was a metaphor for self-castration?)

n.n said...

At a time when God advised judges, this sentence made sense. Today, this is an act of extreme hubris.

Roughcoat said...

Concerning Jesus' "plucking out the eye" remark, I always thought (and still do think) that he was speaking figuratively, not literally. There are many reasons and much evidence for thinking this is the case but in the interests of not boring everyone I won't go into them. You pretty much know what they are, I'm guessing.

Oh, man, I can almost write Althouse's response to this one myself.

Illuninati said...

Since the Jews still view the Torah as the ultimate revelation they have invested a great deal of time trying to understand it. Therefore, the Oral Torah is important in exegesis of this passage.

Here is the Jewish interpretation of this passage:
"Finally, an Oral Law was needed to mitigate certain categorical Torah laws that would have caused grave problems if carried out literally. The Written Law, for example, demands an "eye for an eye" (Exodus 21:24). Did this imply that if one person accidentally blinded another, he should be blinded in return? That seems to be the Torah's wish. But the Oral Law explains that the verse must be understood as requiring monetary compensation: the value of an eye is what must be paid."
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Oral_Law.html

Roughcoat said...

I don't think Jesus' "pluck out your eye" remark was meant to be taken literally because the Jesus I know (and I do believe I know him fairly well) would not advocate actual self-mutilation. Jesus loved to speak in riddles and parables and metaphors. He used it as a way to jog the thinking of people, in much the same way that a Zen monk uses a koan.

But if you all disagree, that's okay with me.

traditionalguy said...

Allah must be in a very bad mood...well he's always in a bad mood.

Legalists the world over are applauding the Iranian Mullahs.
Mercy and Grace are 100% despised in Mohammed's world.

Death penalty is OK to restrain the lawless men , but cruel and unusual punishments are not.

MaxedOutMama said...

I don't think it's right, but at least it's some rough justice. This doesn't always happen..

That sentence having been passed, it is now up to the family of the perp to try to come up with a restitution offer which will convince the victim to forgive the sentence, or for the victim to take the high road and allow a negotiated alternative.

Islamic justice is fundamentally different from our own - in such a case this sentence isn't really meant to be carried out. Instead the victim is really being given authority over the attacker. And frequently enough, mercy is granted.

Our system is based on mercy, not justice, which is why we find this so appalling. I do find it appalling - placing the onus on the victim in this way seems wrong to me.

And see the first link - if she had been attacked by her husband, she might not even get this. See my first link - the man who burned both his wife and his two daughters with acid is wandering around free, NOW.

I find THAT more appalling even than this sentence.

MaxedOutMama said...

Darn it, effed up the first link. This is the story about the husband's acid attack on his wife and two daughters here.

William said...

An eye for an eye is actually kind of bleeding heart liberalism. Say, for example, you blinded Saddam in one eye. Do you think he'd consider blinding you a fair exchange?......The punishment for throwing acid in a girl's face should be sufficiently severe as to make his life more miserable than that of the woman involved.

William said...

If thy eye offend thee, you should close your eye and rub it as punishment. Use a similar technique on the penis if it becomes offensive.

William said...

What is the proper punishment to inflict on Kim Novak's plastic surgeon?

Steven said...

In my experience, according to Christians everything that Jesus ever said about how to behave is metaphorical, where "metaphorical" means "you can ignore it entirely".

Eric said...

What is it with people in that part of the world and acid? It's not like everyone has a handy bucket of HCl that can be grabbed in a fit of rage. I'm astounded a guy could get from start to finish in this act without coming to his senses.

This is one of those instances I can criticize the state for doing something barbaric without thinking the guy doesn't deserve what's coming to him.

EDH said...

"I'm gonna give you three seconds, exactly three-fucking-seconds to wipe that stupid looking grin off your face...or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull-fuck you!"

Marshal said...

n.n said...
At a time when God advised judges, this sentence made sense. Today, this is an act of extreme hubris.


I think it's an admission Iran can't reliably catch criminals. Since they can't create deterrence with the likelihood of being caught they substitute horrific punishments.

EMD said...

For once, I'd like to roll over a Crack link and see it go somewhere else.

The Crack Emcee said...

EMD said...
For once, I'd like to roll over a Crack link and see it go somewhere else.


You obviously don't do enough of them.


The most important question is, if I keep most of my info on my own site, why should I link you anywhere else?

It's not my fault you guys are so ignorant and paranoid (an awful combination) you can't take anyone else's word for anything,..

The Godfather said...

@William (1:04 pm): Kim Novak's plastic surgeon must have been blind when he performed the operation.

Rusty said...

It's not my fault you guys are so ignorant and paranoid (an awful combination) you can't take anyone else's word for anything,..


Nah. Just paranoid rent seeking nutjobs.
Cheers.

lgv said...

As both Christian and Jews have pointed out, which is what I was taught during my sentence to Bible college, is that "eye for an eye" is not literal. Within the original text it implies that the punishment should fit the crime.

Tom said...

When my penis offends me, I attempt to pluck it several times, repeatedly. I can't seem to pull it lose but I feel a lot better after a few attempts. Thanks, Jesus!

Patrick O said...

"That's got to be the least followed rule in Christianity."

Origen followed it, well he didn't pluck out his eye...

Jason said...


Jesus was not being metaphorical at all about the cutting our gouging. The keyword is the conditional: "if."

He just knows full well that if anything causes one to sin, it ain't eyeballs. It's always something else.

The metaphor is the eyes, not the cutting and casting them off.. He was, I believe, quite literal about that.

Revenant said...

Setting aside the question of whether it is moral, just, barbarous, etc, to do this kind of thing, the real problem is the problem of wrongful convictions.

If you gouge out a guy's eyes and then it turns out the victim misidentified him, what then? Do you gouge out the eyes of the judge and jury for the crime of having blinded an innocent man?

This is the same reason I'm against the death penalty. Bad enough to keep an innocent man locked up, but at least you can return his freedom even if you can't return the years he lost in prison. Harming or killing is body commits you to the punishment regardless of future findings.

jr565 said...

Robert Cooke wrote:

In fact, we should forgive those who trespass against us, as the Lord's Prayer states. This is not just some feel-good spiritual teaching, but an essential component of living a healthy life. Grudges are like cancers that metastasize, causing psychic pain and anger, ultimately consuming the whole person and killing the life and the person who existed before.


So, if someone pours acid on the left side of your face to prevent you from being desirable to other men, you should let him also pour acid on your right cheek?
You know what also causes pain, other than vengeance? Having acid poured on your face.
Vengeance shouldn't be taken if justice can be, but let's not make justice into an evil. If you commit atrocities you should pay for your crimes.

chickenlittle said...

William said...
What is the proper punishment to inflict on Kim Novak's plastic surgeon?

Female facial mutilation always raises eyebrows.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
This is the same reason I'm against the death penalty. Bad enough to keep an innocent man locked up, but at least you can return his freedom even if you can't return the years he lost in prison. Harming or killing is body commits you to the punishment regardless of future findings.

What if he gets raped and murdered in prison before being found innocent? Should we do away with jail sentences?

R. Chatt said...

I think it's barbaric and indicates the difference in cultures. And why we can't assume they are just like us and want the same things. They still have public executions of gays and public floggings.
I seriously doubt I would be a better person for seeing something like that on the street where I live. In fact, I think it destroys the human feelings of kindness and compassion and traumatizes the viewer.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My eye doesn't cause me to sin any more than a gun causes me to shoot someone.

It just makes it easier and more enjoyable.

jr565 said...

I certainly think it's barbaric, I just know that we do stuff like execute people and/or put them in jail till they die. Both of which are also barbaric.
How we kill our people is a lot more humane, but it's still executing someone at the end of the day.
And what about when we chemically castrate molesters?

Robert Cook said...

"...let's not make justice into an evil. If you commit atrocities you should pay for your crimes."

I did not say otherwise. But a victim of an offense should not hold within him or her anger toward the offender, or a desire to seek (or see) vengeance. Not for the offender's sake, for the victim's own sake.

Robert Cook said...

"Should we do away with jail sentences?"

We should certainly radically overhaul our sentencing system and the automatic mandatory long penalties for so many crimes. Many lower level or non-violent offenders should do only minimal time, or none.

Pogo is Dead said...

"And I know there's a way to reason out of the horrible conclusion that Jesus meant what he said. "

The literal reading is ignorant of Hebraic culture.

A literal teaching would be a direct violation of the Torah.
"You are the children of YHWH your Elohim. Do not cut yourselves" Deuteronomy 14:1.

Instead, Jesus was talking about the evil eye, an idea common to Jews in Jesus' time.

He was admonishing us to to get rid of the evil eye of desire, of want.

The next chapter in Matthew repeats this theme:
""But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both Elohim and Money. " Matthew 6:23,24

Alex said...

This is justice. Kudos to Iran for finally getting it. Waiting for India to follow suit. This is the kind of deterrence that will make the barbaric acid throwers think TWICE.

Alex said...

Robert Cook... it's liberals like you that led to the making of "Dirty Harry" in the first place.

Pogo is Dead said...

Jews in that time would have readily recognized the reference to the Torah, that goodness and generosity are light, sin and and greed are night.
Torah is light.
The lack of Torah is darkness.

Your sin is darkness, so you are already blind.

The literal is the path of least resistance.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook... it's liberals like you that led to the making of "Dirty Harry" in the first place."

DIRTY HARRY, much as I enjoyed it, is a revenge fantasy about a psychopath...and the criminal he pursued. It is not a desirable model for a real-world justice system.

Revenant said...

DIRTY HARRY, much as I enjoyed it, is a revenge fantasy about a psychopath...and the criminal he pursued. It is not a desirable model for a real-world justice system.

That statement makes me wonder if you actually saw the movie, because your comment doesn't reflect the character portrayed in the film. Harry only ever resorts to violence in self-defense or to save innocent lives.

The stereotype later arose of an ultra-violent cop blowing away crooks without trial, but that's not actually the character shown in the film. Hell, the main bad guy actually has to hire OTHER people to beat him up in order to frame the "rogue detective".

Matthew Sablan said...

"What if he gets raped and murdered in prison before being found innocent? Should we do away with jail sentences?"

-- The difference is that it is not the state raping and murdering the person. The state is only responsible for the actions it takes.

Revenant said...

What if he gets raped and murdered in prison before being found innocent? Should we do away with jail sentences?

The government is obviously not responsible for the actions of people who break its laws. It is, again obviously, responsible for how its own laws are enforced.

Now, should the government be doing a hell of a lot more to prevent rape and murder in US prisons? Uh, yeah, it should, and the way we shrug about what goes on inside our prison system is a national disgrace.

Pogo is Dead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo is Dead said...

"... it is not the state raping and murdering the person. The state is only responsible for the actions it takes."

I dunno.
If the state puts you in a viper pit, it can't claim to know nothin' about no snakes.

Well, it can, but it is still morally culpable (as weak an admonition that that is).

chickenlittle said...

The stereotype later arose of an ultra-violent cop blowing away crooks without trial, but that's not actually the character shown in the film.

"When the legend becomes fact, post the legend."

Nice catch, revenant.

Robert Cook said...

"-- The difference is that it is not the state raping and murdering the person. The state is only responsible for the actions it takes."

The state is--or should fucking well be--responsible for the safety of those in its custody...or be criminally and civilly liable.

Robert Cook said...

Revenant,

I did see DIRTY HARRY, more than once, but it's been many years. My memory of the particulars apparently have been distorted by the many (more brutal) films about "street-wise," rule-breaking cops that have followed in its wake. I stand corrected.

Nonetheless, our current justice system is far too harsh and merciless. It removes from judges most of their power to make judgement in their levying of appropriate sentences. Judges have been made into rubber stamps for pre-formatted sentences which allow for little or no adjustment of sentences that is proportional to the person(s) convicted for and the circumstances of the crime. Ambitious prosecutors are eager to convict, and profit-seeking owners of privately run prisons are eager to incarcerate. We have more of our people in prison than any country in the world, many of them, as we know, innocent.

This is a travesty.

dbp said...

" in too few instances ANYWHERE including the US, men go unpunished for really vile deeds done to women, girls and children."

This would make more sense if it read "in too many instances..." unless they think men should go unpunished more than they currently are.

Jason said...

The reason we have mandatory sentences is because the idiot libtard judges demonstrated they can't be trusted with discretion.

Peter said...

Well it's cruel, but arguably in Iran it's not unusual.

I suppose if it were not for the Eighth Amendment, crimes against protected group members might receive horrible punishments, while crimes against non-protected-group members would still be limited (by statute, presumably) by prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishments.

Revenant said...

The state is--or should fucking well be--responsible for the safety of those in its custody...or be criminally and civilly liable.

The state allows prisoners a measure of freedom; with freedom comes the ability to abuse said freedom. So long as prisoners are allowed to leave their cells and interact with one another, rapes and murders will happen. The state cannot reasonably be held responsible for that.

I do think it is fair to hold the state to account for the lax oversight of both prisoners and guards, which allows a level of prison violence far beyond a reasonable minimum.

Revenant said...

My memory of the particulars apparently have been distorted by the many (more brutal) films about "street-wise," rule-breaking cops that have followed in its wake.

They do tend to blend together. That's Hollywood for you, though -- any hit gets followed by a flood of dumbed-down ripoffs. Or in the case of Dirty Harry, dumbed-down ripoffs AND dumbed-down sequels. ;)

Nonetheless, our current justice system is far too harsh and merciless.

I would say it is irrationally harsh and merciless. We parole rapists and killers to make room for drug pushers and tax evaders.

Howard said...

Did the perp do it because the woman was a slut showing off her ankles? The crime and punishment is a product of fanatical behavior from the believers in the god of Abraham.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm sorry; I should've been more clear. The state IS responsible for the well-being of the people it imprisons. But, failing to protect someone and actually raping/murdering them are radically different failings, which was my point. Yes, the state may fail to protect its prisoner (or an innocent person jailed), but that cannot be compared to the willful rape/murder of that same prisoner by an inmate/guard.

Smilin' Jack said...

"The highest court in Iran has ordered a man's eyes to be gouged out and his ears and nose to be chopped off for pouring acid on a girl."

Well, it may distress the squeamish, but I don't think you can argue that it's not just.

And I know there's a way to reason out of the horrible conclusion that Jesus meant what he said.

Jesus, like the Constitution, means whatever you want Him to mean.

cubanbob said...

If Iran routinely executes gays just for the "crime" of being gay they should execute violent criminals like this guy.

Unknown said...

I was told there are no gays in Iran.

Is this lacking in accuracy?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I was told there are no gays in Iran.

Is this lacking in accuracy?

Revenant said...

Jack,

Iran doesn't have an adversarial court system. On top of that, corruption is widespread.

It may be "justice" to gouge out the eyes of a man who blinded someone, but why should we believe this guy blinded anyone? For all we know the actual perp was someone with enough pull to have a fall guy thrown under the bus.

vanderwater said...

Iran has been remade by these clerical extremists to have economic despair and brutal human rights repression. The country has a long and notorious history for the torture and severe treatment of its political prisoners and dissenters. It's an unfortunate aspect of the rule under Iran's mullahs who like any other tyrant are more concerned with preserving their power and hold over the people than in governing and leading them into a better future.

pst314 said...

Robert Cook "Many lower level or non-violent offenders should do only minimal time, or none."

What sorts of crimes are you thinking of? Burglary and theft? Others? What kinds and degrees of punishments would you recommend in place of imprisonment?

Anonymous said...

Speaking for myself only, this man doesn't deserve any mercy. Not only did he ruin any chance for this poor, young girl to have a normal life but he also sentenced her to a life of pain and suffering, physical as well as emotional. I say bring on his just punishment. He brought this on himself. Maybe the next person with a bottle of acid will think twice before he or she decides to use it to harm another person.