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Get Mad or Get Even?

In the SRL Files under “Ain’t Religion Grand?” comes a tragic story out of Madrid with a shocking twist.

Victim Will Get to Blind the Man Who Blinded Her

A combination photograph shows a woman identified as Ameneh Bahrami before and after she was blinded with acid.

A combination photograph shows a woman identified as Ameneh Bahrami before and after she was blinded with acid.

An Iranian woman living in Spain is welcoming a Tehran court ruling that awards her eye-for-an-eye justice against a suitor who blinded her.

In a Spanish radio interview, she says her aim isn’t revenge — it’s to make sure her suffering isn’t repeated.

Ameneh Bahrami was blinded and disfigured in 2004 when a man she had spurned threw acid on her. Late last year, an Iranian court reportedly ruled that Islamic justice calls for the attacker to be blinded with acid, too.

But the victim says she is entitled to blind Majid Movahedi in only one eye, because under Iranian law “each man is worth two women.”

She also says he would be blinded by having several drops of acid put into one eye, whereas she had acid splashed all over her face and other parts of her body.

She says she’s waiting for a letter from the court telling her to go back to Iran for the punishment to be carried out.

If you think this sounds bad enough – hold on.

It gets worse.

The attacker, Majid Movahedi, is now playing the victim card!

Ms. Bahrami’s lawyer, Ali Sarrafi, said Mohavedi had never shown any remorse.

“He says he did it because he loved her,” Mr. Sarrafi said.

He told the court he still loved Ms. Bahrami, but if she asked for his eyes to be taken out, he would seek the same punishment for her.

“They must also completely empty out her eyes, since I’m not sure that she cannot secretly see,” he said, according to a report in The Washington Post.

“The newspapers have made this a huge case, but I haven’t done anything bad.”

Acid attacks on women are common in Muslim countries, often because the victims refuse to marry the assailants or as a way of controlling them.

In November, Taliban insurgents sprayed acid on girls walking to school in Kandahar, blinding at least two of them.

Did you catch the twisted escalation expressed by the perpetrator of this crime?

“Well, if she gets one of my eyes, then because men are worth twice as much as women, I should get to burn out both of her eyes.”

And so it goes.

How much revenge is ever enough?

And what would prevent this psychotic suitor from hunting this woman down at a later date and carrying out his own notion of  “an eye for an eye”?

Now some will object, “But doesn’t the Bible also teach that same “eye for an eye” standard of justice?

Yes, it does.

‘If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him— fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death. You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.’” (Leviticus 24:19-22)

But the purpose of the so called “Lex Talionis” was not to mandate revenge, but to restrict it.

Let’s face it, when we are wronged we not only want to get even, but also exact a little bit of interest.

You knock out my tooth? You just watch while I rearrange your entire set of dental work!

But in the Law of Moses the punishment was to fit the crime.

To add to this,  Jesus clarified what God’s intention for His people was when they were treated unjustly.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (Matthew 5:38-40)

Now Jesus didn’t say that the idea of taking someone to court who has committed a crime was wrong.

But what he was saying was that there is a higher road for us to take when we are wronged personally – one that breaks us out of the endless cycle of hurt, bitterness and revenge.

It is love.

The same kind of love God demonstrated toward us when Jesus died for us.

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

You might be thinking, “That’s easy for you to say! Your body wasn’t permanently disfigured by an acid attack!”

That is true.

But stop and think which would have a greater impact upon this lost and selfish man.

Twenty drops of acid in his eye so he would “know how it feels”?

Or the shock to his lost heart he would feel if he heard the words, “I forgive you for this.”

But how could someone possibly find it in their heart to forgive such a despicable deed, especially when the perpetrator still feels he is in the right?


Such love doesn’t reside in our hearts naturally.

It has to be received supernaturally – as a gift from God.

When we allow the Lord to love and forgive through us, the world sees a miracle.

And they also see the difference between religion and a genuine relationship with God.


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