When I read the headline of this story today on ABC News.com, I must say that I was rather astounded. Then as I read the story and pondered it for awhile, I began to understand. Here is the quote from the story that really got my attention
“This is written in the Koran, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and a soul for a soul… Islam calls for forgiveness but if the victim insists then it is his right,” said Ahmed Almobi, an Islamic scholar and writer in Saudi Arabia.
“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth…” – I remember that from the Bible but I never quite understood it. If that were the case, then when my brother hit me, I should have been allowed to hit him back but my mom said that I couldn’t. There is also the Golden Rule which says that you should do onto others as you would have them do onto you. Well, that seems to work just fine if you are talking about doing good things to and for another but why wouldn’t that apply if you did bad things? I decided that I rather like the fundamental concept of both of these “rules”.
For all of those people who have suffered from domestic abuse, I think that anytime that someone who abuses another person should have the punishment returned. If a man beats and bruises his wife, child, etc., he should receive the same punishment inflicted upon him by someone else. If that were the case, I don’t think that he would return home and re-injure someone again if he knows that he will suffer the same consequences. If he does, he should be removed from the home and not allowed to return again until he has been locked up and given help for whatever is the underlying problem. When he is released, if he returns and does it a third time, he should be forced to serve a long jail term and if the abused needs help to start over, assistance can be given to her which is money that might have been spent for something like safe houses, etc. in the past.
If someone goes out and robs a person, the robber should have to give up some of his possessions of equal value to the things that were stolen. If he does not have the money or possessions to compensate the person that he robbed, then he can go to jail and work there every day at a fair wage until he has earned enough to pay back the people that he robbed.
Some form of this payback can be established for just about anything. What will best make it work is the establishment of the punishment so that everyone knows ahead of time what it will be and to make sure that it is levied equally across the board to everyone. If someone I know or someone like Mel Gibson blackens the eye of someone else, like punishment should be given back. The days of high priced lawyers being able to buy lesser or no punishment for their high profile clients through legal maneuvering would soon end. And certainly more people would think about the consequences of their actions before they did anything to harm another.
We all pay for other people’s bad behavior any time that someone harms another. It is time for those who choose to harm be made to pay themselves and not by just sitting around in a jail, being fed 3 meals a day, given privileges as part of “prisoner’s rights” and then let go to repeat the same behavior. I think that “an eye for an eye…” and the Golden Rule are really starting to make sense to me.
Do you believe in this form of punishment? COMMENTS
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.