Monday, December 15, 2008

An eye for an eye

Wrath and the desire for revenge: those must be the most human emotions. When I meet people who are forgiving and compassionate in the face of great personal disaster, I am in awe. I think I have met two such people. Well, maybe one. But trust me, his forgiveness is awe-inspiring, compassionate, and smart. It's also completely baffling. I mean, who wouldn't want to personally torture the executioners of a loved one?

As much as we might enjoy a Dirty Harry film or a Charles Bronson revenge flick, the reality of "an eye for an eye" is a gruesome one that reveals the darkest part of our humanity. (I almost wrote "lizard brain," but couldn't actually imagine a lizard committing an act of vengeance.) Thomas Erbrink's article in Sunday's Washington Post, about a young woman blinded and disfigured in an acid attack by a spurned lover who has successfully lobbied to have her attacker blinded by acid, graphically illustrates the moral problems at the heart of legal systems that allow for vengeance. The very legality of corporal punishment, no matter how rare or common it might be, allows victims and their families to unleash their dark revenge monsters.

This monster exists inside most of us. I mean, how could it not? It's only natural to want to revenge a wrong. Imagining a vicious crime committed against me or someone I love is enough to make my blood boil... the reality of it... well that would be even worse.) Reading Erdbrink's article, made me feel incredibly sad that such a vicious crime was committed in the first place, and that the woman and her family have spent so much time and energy to ensure that the perpetrator gets a dose of his own medicine by having 5 drops of acid placed in each of his two eyes. Will fewer men stalk and harm women as a result? Somehow, I doubt it.

On a closing note, a few weeks ago, a friend told us the story of a European woman who was raped in Iran and who called for the men accused of the rape to be executed. This case was particularly difficult for European diplomats who spend so much of their time in Iran campaigning against the death penalty. The second one of their own citizens had the opportunity, she called for execution.

This is what the law is for: to protect us from the worst of ourselves, not to transform us into vigilantes.

Other blogs discussing this:

Sharazad

Here, There, and Everywhere

Feministe

I know there are a lot more, and even more in Persian, but I'll stop there. I do want to borrow a comment left by Mrss at The Kvetcher:

In this culture (which I know something of, though I’m American.) It’s likely that if they blind him, his family will force a close female relative (a younger unmarried sister or cousin most likely) to dedicate the rest of her life as his full time caregiver. She will never be allowed to marry or pursue a career or education, and she will have no choice in this. In this respect, I would rather he die than destroy another innocent woman’s life.

8 comments:

Eric said...

Fascinating stuff. I'm curious, though: Who are the "forgiving and compassionate" people you know? It sounds like there's a very interesting story there.

youtube said...

i am a Pakistani sunni muslim but saloute iran how it stand against usa.

Anonymous said...

The WHY? of Terrorism (against women) in Islam…

I am an American living in Asia. I am not Moslem, but I am a writer and historian. I would like to share some information with you: information concerning Moslem violence and terrorism, and why the United States and its military allies must both continue to be vigilant, and when appropriate, respond to individual acts of violent Islamic terrorism with relentless, overwhelming, and deadly force, while at the same time, practicing moderation, restraint, and understanding when dealing with moderate Moslems.

This information may help you understand what is going on not only in Israel and the entire Middle East as well as India, Pakistan, and China, along with other parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and (soon) even the United States. In the not too distant future, Moslem extremists hope to involve you and your loved ones, as well as a vast number of other innocent victims in a man-made catastrophe: an organized and violent calamity of biblical proportions that is based on teachings that were deliberately added to the Koran, decades after the faith was founded.

Disregarding the social, economic, and political factors that serve as underpinnings for Islamic terrorism, I will address the more fundamental issue: the religious teachings that sanction violence against non-Moslems and AGAINST ALL WOMEN. Here are seven verses from the Koran. These scriptures have been translated into modern English.

…murder, crucify, or cut off the hands and feet of non-Moslems…Chapter 5 Verse 33 - The Koran
…create terror in the hearts of non-Moslems …cut off their heads…Chapter 8 Verse 12 - The Koran
…and fight non-Moslems until Allah’s religion is the only one…Chapter 8 Verse 39 - The Koran
…of all the loot you plunder from non-Moslems, 20% belongs to Allah and to Mohammed. Chapter 8 Verse 41- The Koran (Author’s note: Loot included kidnapped female sex-slaves.)
…Take as many as four wives from the women you are sexually attracted to … Chapter 4 Verse 3 - The Koran
…God has made men superior to women… Virtuous women are obedient. If a woman becomes disobedient, beat her. Chapter 4 Verse 34 - The Koran
…When it comes to marriage, Allah makes it legal for you to take as wives, women whom your right hand possesses. Chapter 33 Verse 50 - The Koran (Author’s note: This verse talks about the “loot” non-Moslems call… kidnapped female sex-slaves.)

Most people in the western world have never heard of these astonishing scriptures, but they are in the Koran … along with a relatively short list of others, just like them. This is important because not all Moslems are the same; there are two very different types. Militant Moslems view these verses as commandments from their god – a primitive desert god, from an ancient land of heat, sand and scorpions. Militant Moslems think these teachings apply to life in the Twenty-first Century and they try to use them, regardless of the suffering and mayhem they create, whereas moderate Moslems ignore such verses because they were uttered a long time ago, when the Arabian peninsula, from whence Islam came, was a wild and savage place.

Historians tell us these terrorist teachings are part of a cluster of ferocious beliefs that were deliberately added to one specific part of the formerly peaceful and tolerant Koran. These startling changes were made, decades after Islam was first founded in the Arabian city of Mecca. By the time of these changes the original (and real) prophet of Islam was dead. Thereafter the religious headquarters was uprooted and moved to the city of Medina. In its new environment, with new leadership at the helm, Islam mutated; it turned cruel and predatory.

The historical record reveals that Islam didn’t simply fall from the sky as a full-blown religion, but rather evolved from a persecuted sect of Jewish-Christians. The first Moslems lived in the city of Mecca; they were actually part of a larger group of Jesus’ followers called the Ebionites.

Ebionites were peace-loving disciples of Christ, who shared their wealth with fellow believers, and taught that a man should marry only one wife.

In fact, women were much more independent in the Ebionite Jewish-Christian days of Islam. They were more influential too. I say this because my research has determined that the first prophet of Islam may have been someone other than Mohammed: I believe the first prophet was a very special Arabian princess named Khadija the Pure. Khadija was Mohammed’s first and only wife for twenty-four years. Khadija was fifteen years older than Mohammed. She was considered to be fabulously wealthy, and she was Mohammed’s employer, before she became his wife.

Mohammed on the other hand, before he became Khadija’s employee, was an impoverished youth who had been raised as an orphan. Ultimately Mohammed worked his way up to a position as Khadija’s business manager. With time, Khadija grew fond of Mohammed. She even married him. However, Khadija was a liberated woman. In fact, Khadija was the one who initiated the marriage proposal to Mohammed! And after their wedding, she never allowed Mohammed to take other wives, or have other women in her house.

Throughout her lifetime, even though Khadija had already converted to Christianity, Mohammed’s first and only wife for twenty-four years remained an important Arabian princess in the ruling family that controlled worship in the Kabba Temple, with it’s pantheon of more than three hundred pagan gods and goddesses. Clearly, in the early days of Islam, Khadija was a person of great influence in Arabian society: and clearly Mohammed, her husband… was not. www.TheMoslemInstitute.com

After Khadija’s untimely death from a terrible illness, Islam was hijacked by a cartel of corrupt men, headed by Mohammed himself. The faith was abruptly relocated to the city of Medina and new beliefs were added to the Koran; at the same time, old beliefs were deleted or relegated to unimportance, and the religion was changed beyond recognition. In the end, Islam abandoned many of its Ebionite Jewish-Christian teachings. Women suffered the most: they became the focus of repression, scorn, and violence.

Today, although moderate Moslems are loath to admit these ideas, and many of them are terrified to voice criticism of their militant Islamic brothers, because of fear that violence will come to them and their families, the fact remains that these added teachings are not the original beliefs of Islam; they are amendments: They are the terrorist teachings of Islam.

In the near future, militant Moslems hope to unleash a Jihad: a Moslem holy war upon the non-Moslem world; not only upon Israel, the United States and Western Europe, but also throughout parts of Asia, including India and maybe even China, and Japan. Because the terrorist teachings of Islam sanction treaty breaking, deception, and war, as well as looting, murder, kidnapping, terrorism, and human slavery (including sexual slavery), so long as these crimes are directed against non-Moslems, there is no limit to the things these fanatics can do. But the scariest part: Militant Moslems will do everything… in the name of their primitive desert god.

Once victory is attained in this violent holy war, these fanatics believe Allah will bless them with harems of kidnapped sex slaves taken from destroyed cities and nations, as well as enormous fortunes of loot plundered from the non-Moslem world. They believe this because of the terrorist teachings that were added to the Koran. These terrorist teachings even say ransoms paid to Moslem terrorists, to redeem stolen property (like hijacked oil tankers and cargo ships) as well as kidnapped men, women, and children, are part of the Islamic loot these vicious criminals are entitled to receive.

These same terrorist teachings even allow Moslem men to force their kidnapped female sex slaves to marry them in Moslem wedding ceremonies, and bear children for them: whether the women want to or not. Terrorist Moslem teachings mandate only two requirements: The women must come from Christian or Jewish backgrounds, and secondly, if the unfortunate women resist, these same terrorist teachings say the Moslem husbands must beat them, and imprison them in their own homes.

If the Moslem fanatics die while committing these crimes against humanity, as an eternal reward for their cruel deeds Islamic extremists believe their fierce desert god will admit them to paradise and bless them with luxurious palaces filled with riches and populated by seventy-two virgin brides, who are exquisitely beautiful, yet modest enough to struggle to control their unbridled lust to have sexual intercourse with a dead Moslem terrorist.

With these stinging indictments against terrorist Islamic doctrines entered into the record, it is important to remember that the majority of Moslems are moderate, decent people who love God and practice acts of charity and kindness to their neighbors, both Moslem and non-Moslem. Such moderate Moslems recognize these violent teachings as obsolete and out of place in the Twenty-first Century. In the author’s opinion, in spite of enormous cultural and ideological differences that exist between the non-Moslem world and the followers of Islam, it is with this moderate Moslem majority that any long-term resolution to the Islamic terrorism issue will ultimately be negotiated.

However, given the massive population increases taking place in the Moslem world, at a time when poverty, chaos, criminality, and religious fanaticism are burgeoning, the numbers of Moslems worldwide who declare themselves militant is increasing; the influence their growing networks of terror cells exert on Islamic governments throughout the world has reached crisis levels. Because of the terrorist teachings of Islam, modern civilization faces a nightmarish future; the attacks on Mumbai, India, the World Trade Center in New York, and the subway bombings in Spain and London are simply previews of things to come. In this ferocious Jihad, nuclear and biological weapons are almost certain to come into play.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: The road before us will be long and dangerous and terrifying; the United States and Europe and Asia must be resolute… and take courage. We must work together to neutralize militant Islamic movements… and if necessary… wage war against the governments that sustain them. At the same time, the non-Moslem world must also nurture moderate Islamic states and establish strong alliances with them. The very survival of our civilization depends on it.

Are you are interested in learning more about an array of Islamic topics including:
1. Who are The Seventy-two Virgins of Islam and how did they become part of militant Moslem dogma?
2. What role did the Ebionites and Khadija the Pure play, in founding the original (peaceful) religion of Islam?
3. What role does militant Islam play in modern human slavery?

Visit The Moslem Institute website: www.TheMoslemInstitute.com

Regards,
Dane Dahl
Author and Historian

Deni said...

Where to start.People by nature are so influential they forget who they really are and what they represent at a realistic view.Brain-washing is the main culprit in society today no matter where we go someone is always trying to out-do and become better than someone else all in the name of greed and hate.Religion to my understanding is based entirely upon the weak minded who will go to great links to prove absolutely nothing and explain in riddles and old reasoning's about things that has nothing to do with our current situations in our times.You don't need the Koran to commit murder and terrorist acts or slavery in fact these people that think if they do these horrible acts get rewarded in the after-life, to me,are criminally insane and without a doubt the most hateful and should not be given any refuge or safe haven on this entire planet.The world is to lenient toward these type of humans and when I hear of terrorist acts going on in the world and countries are neutral about it or do very little then it's time to change territorial law's from a global scale and start taking over and claiming these countries as neutral which means no rescue,no provision,no one comes in or out of that country and if so they are to be killed.Because of the population we are currently having trouble with,trying to coincide with last century technology and law's.It is time for a new frontier of governmental institutions to come into play and start being more intolerant and to be more controlling and if it sounds like we are being put into harms way and our liberties put on hold for awhile then it's a small price to pay compared to dieing for a terrorist cause which means absolutely dieing for nothing.Because there is no virgins or palaces or gold at the end of a terrorist attack,there is only pain for those who survive.It's time for the world to come together and quit wasting so much money on terrorist and just give them a country to reign and then drop the bomb on them nuclear or atomic who cares because they will be dead.Oh yeah, and return the Koran back to it's original teachings so the world can share in it's glory and not it's doom.

Anonymous said...

i totally support d eye for eye in dis case...n dose whu r opposed 2 it i wonder wht dey wuld hav dun if it had happened 2 dem...dey r just opposing it for d sake of publicity...shame on dem...so callled humna r8 activists my foot thuu....

amit09090@yahoo.com

Ann said...

Thought provoking site
Thank you

intlxpatr said...

I wondered how our blogs were connected (and I am delighted that they are) so I searched until I found this entry.

I started dealing with the amazing acts of forgiveness in my blog when a gunman entered an Amish school in America and killed children, particularly girls. The Amish attended his funeral, and comforted his grieving family. I could barely wrap my mind around such forgiveness.

Lust for revenge imprisons us. Obsessing with the wrongs done to us diminishes our spirit. It is a mind blowing truth that when we let loose of the wrongs others have done to us, we free ourselves.

No, I haven't mastered it. I can see it, but I am still struggling, in my own life, to apply it.

I like your blog. I wish we could sit down over a cup of tea or coffee and just visit.

I.:.S.:. said...

"...and who called for the men accused of the rape to be executed. This case was particularly difficult for European diplomats who spend so much of their time in Iran campaigning against the death penalty."

Very, very telling story... An utterly brilliant study in human psychology...

ShareThis