Sunday, December 28, 2008

Islamic law - An eye for an eye

An Iranian woman who had been blinded by an acid attack is seeking Islamic justice by having her attacker punished by having acid poured into his eyes. I can sympathize. However, it is counterproductive. In general, Iranians do not favor this type of penalty. In this case however, public opinion is in favor of having her assailant permanently blinded, as she was. This is literally, an eye for an eye.

Most of us already have our reasons to disagree with the eye for eye penalty. Speaking on a strategic level, it would require that after World War II, we would have had to exterminate millions of Blond, blue eyed Germans, as they supposedly caused the holocaust. This would have made it almost impossible to rebuild that country into anything like it is today.

Revenge is not a good quality to encourage. Chopping off hands to punish theft would appear at first glance to make sense. It would discourage people from stealing in the first place. A problem that this creates on a national level is a sense of blaming others. In some cases, others really are to blame. On many occasions, the blame can be targeted and become a scapegoat for your own problems. If they do ANY injustice to anyone who you sympathize with, then this justifies a like act. We are seeing this occur throughout the Middle East. Particularly regarding violent acts, like bombings and shootings. The cycle of violence cannot be broken without the eye for an eye concept becoming unacceptable by society. An additional problem here is that getting rid of the eye for eye concept could very easily trigger open warfare. An additional reason why warfare is so common throughout the Islamic world.


  1. Hello there. Well, there is no doubt that there will be the chopping of hands when a thief is caught for stealing.

    However, his hands will only be chopped off if he is really proven guilty.

    However, if a person steals out of hunger, poverty or he is really poor, then his hands won't be chopped of. Similarly, a child will also not be subjected to this punishment.

    In a nutshell, innocent until proven guilty.

    If only more people actually knew this.

    I'm not so sure about the eye for an eye though. You see, I recently reverted to Islam and I'm doing a lot of research about Islam. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends who are born Muslims kinda take their religion for granted. This means that they don't really bother to understand the meaning of the Quran and Sunnah.

    Worst of all, they make their own rules based on their desires.

  2. Sometimes it is an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a full set of teeth.