The brutal character of Sharia criminal law was evident in Iran this week after a man was forcibly blinded in one eye after being convicted for an acid attack that blinded another man. It was the literal application of the concept of “an eye for an eye.” We discussed the Iranian judicial ruling on blinding people for such crimes ten years ago. In this case, the man was blinded in his left eye and will later be blinded in his right eye unless “blood money is paid.”
The punishment is a form of Qasas, meaning retribution in kind.
If the defendant or his family pays “blood money: to the victim, he will be spared the second blinding and spend 10 years in prison. In another case, a man is scheduled to be both blinded and made deaf.
The primitive character of such punishment is shielded behind the religious orthodoxy in Iran supporting Sharia law under Islam. The medieval values prompt the same medieval practices of Qasas.
In Saudi Arabia, the government is defending its horrific order to imprison and impose 1000 lashes on a blogger who merely exercised free speech. We discussed the case earlier. Now the Kingdom is responding with indignation at the criticism with an official saying that “Saudi Arabia expresses its intense surprise and dismay at what is being reported by some media about the case of citizen Raif Badawi and his sentence.” The official said that by definition the punishment was not a denial of human rights because it is based on Sharia law. It is that simple. If the law is based on religious belief, it is by definition fair and correct. End of discussion.