Different attitudes

What is your reaction when you see the headline “Court orders Iranian man blinded”? I know mine was “typical medieval barbarism”.

What is your reaction when you then click on the link and read that the man’s crime was blinding a woman who spurned his advances, by throwing acid on her? Mine, to be honest, was: “Well, at least the Iranians care about crimes against women, then.”

Here’s an article by Nicholas Kristof on the “personal” terrorism of acid attacks. He focuses on Pakistan, and mentions Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but it’s not unheard of in India either.

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5 Comments

  1. I’d be lying if I quoted “An eye for an eye” here. Your post makes me want to think about forgiveness in general. What does it *really* mean?

    Reply
  2. It’s both eyes for both eyes.I think forgiveness is up to the victim, not the legal system. It would be extraordinary of anyone to forgive someone who blinded them with acid. The question is whether the punishment is appropriate: most “modern” people would say no, on the grounds of its barbarity (or being “cruel and unusual”). But it’s not obvious to me that it’s less barbaric than the death sentence.

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  3. I mean — it’s not obvious to me that it’s not less barbaric than the death sentence.

    Reply
  4. It would be extraordinary of anyone to forgive someone who blinded them with acid.Have you read Simon Wiesenthal’s “The Sunflower”? A newer edition of the book has responses (to the central question of the book) by a variety of people – a Buddhist, statesmen, writers, Christians…As for the punishment itself, I agree, it is in no way less barbaric than death sentence.

    Reply
  5. No, I haven’t read it. But — offhand — if the offender asked for forgiveness and seemed actually repentant, it’s another question. Most acid throwers are proud of what they did.

    Reply

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