Eye for an eye isn’t best option

David Taintor

Revenge – it’s ageless and shows no sign of dying anytime soon.

Unfortunately, revenge isn’t merely a reaction. It permeates daily life, culture and religion, like it has for centuries.

For example, a passage in the Christian Bible and Islamic law, among other sources, demands an eye for an eye, among a number of other miscellaneous body parts.

Well, that’s exactly what one Iranian woman demands of her attacker, and it appears that she may get it, according to a Feb. 19 CNN article. Thirty-one-year-old Ameneh Bahrami met her attacker, Majid Movahedi, in 2002 in an electronics course, the article stated.

For the next two years, Movahedi harassed and threatened her. His reason for this? Apparently he was in love with her and proposed to her throughout that time, telling her he would kill her if she didn’t say yes.

In Nov. 2004 Movahedi turned to violence. Outside of her place of work, Movahedi threw acid at Bahrami’s face. Two weeks after the attack, Movahedi turned himself in and confessed, leading to conviction and imprisonment since 2005.

As a result of the attack, Bahrami is now blind and disfigured.

The article stated her lawyer said Movahedi shows no remorse and says he did it because he loved her.

Normally, people in Bahrami’s position receive ‘blood money’ as retribution in Iran. However, she doesn’t want that. She wants revenge and has asked for the ‘eye for an eye’ treatment. Late last year, the Iranian courts granted her wish, and although Movahedi has attempted to appeal it, he has failed. According to the article, Movahedi may have acid drops put into his eyes in the next couple of weeks.

When I read this, I felt as if I had been thrown into my introductory history class from my freshman year and was reading about Hammurabi’s code all over again.

I’m not na’ve enough to pretend things like this do not happen, but I’d like to hope we would have a better reaction to these types of issues than an ‘eye for an eye,’ especially in this extreme situation. I also hope that this type of punishment has passed into history.

Clearly, it’s still alive and well.

First and foremost, Movahedi has psychological issues. In the article, he clearly shows no remorse for his actions. Instead of being blinded, he should be able to get psychiatric treatment.

He needs to be punished, but he needs help even more than that.

Imprisonment for life after his treatment should be an option. But by disagreeing with this, I feel as though I am disagreeing with more than revenge.

I have complete respect for this rationale’s place in history, religion and culture. But the lines become blurry for me regarding Movahedi’s impending punishment.

The time has come for people to realize revenge isn’t the answer.

When it all comes down to it, Movahedi is still a human, regardless of his psychological state or lack of remorse.

There is a line that never should be crossed – human rights. By looking at history, crossing human rights has never ended well.

In addition to taking her eyesight, it seems as though his action took a part of her heart and compassion as well. In the article, Bahrami says she will never forgive herself if he does this again.

She has a right to be angry. But her actions are far from right.

It’s hard for me to disagree with a victim who, because of a spurned suitor’s actions, will never see again. I can’t imagine being in her place, and I can’t pretend I know what I will do.

But what will be achieved by this? If it is merely for revenge, then it is the wrong choice.

As Ghandi once said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

If it doesn’t end here, when will it ever. I, for one, don’t want to be blind.

Schossow is a sophomore print journalism major and news editor for The Spectator.