A Moral Dilemma

Submitted by Yardbroom

AFP Photo of Ameneh Bahrami after the attack.

On a pleasant day in an ordinary street a young woman went about her daily business, it could have been anywhere as Ameneh Bahrami a university student,  33 years of age came face to face with Majid Movahedi 30.  She had met Majid several times before at the university, he had asked her to marry him, and  she had always refused.  Today she felt there would be another request followed by a refusal, alas this was not the case.

Majid had other plans, he carried with him a red container within it a jar, after looking at her, as if savouring her beauty, he threw the contents of the jar into her face.  In excruciating pain she screamed, the acid tore into her face, melting her tender skin and tissues.  The eyes that once looked out on the world were unable to do so again, they became permanently shut.  She was blinded in both eyes and facially disfigured, because she dared to refuse an offer of marriage, from a man who could not accept no as an answer.

In the criminal trial that followed in 2008 Ameneh Bahrami told the Iranian Court: “He looked into my eyes for a second and threw the contents of the red container into my face.” She asked a Retribution Court to allow her “Qisas” – allowed in Shraia Law – to allow her to exact an “eye for an eye ” punishment.  She wants to drop acid into his eyes and for him to be rendered blind as she is.  He was also required to pay her compensation, she refused to accept “blood money”.  She told the Court, “inflict the same life on him as he has inflicted on me”.

According to the Iranian media, Bahrami’s lawyer, Ali Sarafi has said: “A very good sentence has been given and an appropriate method has been adopted so that the convict will be blinded by a few drops of acids in his eyes after he is rendered unconscious”.

Information from Iran suggest that the procedure will be done in a hospital under the supervision of a doctor. Since then is is believed, because of International pressure on Iran, the blinding of Majid Movahedi due to have taken place last week has been postponed. Can one understand the thinking of Ameneh Bahrami and why she is “insistent” that the same penalty is exacted on Majid Movahedi.  He deliberately with intent, and in a premeditated act inflicted on her a punishment with the sole purpose of disfigurement.  Would it be right for a penalty of a fine or a few years in prison be deemed enough.  After which he would be released find a partner, even marry have children and carry on as if nothing had happened.

Is society ever able to confront the evil within it; with a sentence commensurate with the offence, or is it that some acts are so inherently evil, that a civilised society can never give a comparable penalty that will reflect the seriousness of some offences. Can we condemn the thinking of Ameneh Bahrami, and if we do, the question follows.  How are we to adequately deal with the likes of Majid Movahedi because to a lesser degree, that thinking is prevalent with some in every society.

The social and moral problems which such acts confront us with, must be explained in a way that will make sense to an ordered society or must all societies ultimately accept that there are crimes so heinous in their nature that there is no penalty a civilised society can impose, that will adequately compensate the aggrieved.

33 thoughts on “A Moral Dilemma


  1. The right to say NO to a man appears to be losing its standard. Right here in Barbados, the female gender has lost its respect among many (not all) young men, this is partly blamed on the upbringing of our children and the strong peer pressure that exist today. Television and thetype of movies available today contributes to the decay also. Some agency has to stand up and try to reverse this trend as it can only get worse, I heard Min Stephen Lashley complaining about the quality of shows on T V, he can only be talking about our own TV8 that has been turned into a sex station with little respect for the female gender especially. I hope this government can do more than talk and demand CBC to improve the quality of there programs.


  2. @Yardbroom “The social and moral problems which such acts confront us with, must be explained in a way that will make sense to an ordered society”

    No society will even be perfectly ordered and it is foolish to expect so.

    @Yardbroom ” Would it be right for a penalty of a fine or a few years in prison be deemed enough. After which he would be released find a partner, even marry have children”

    No it would not be right to give the man a minor punishment for a major offense. An appropriate punishment would be a long period of imprisonment, perhaps 20 years. And is addition he should be fined, the fine going to the state. The fine should be whatever it costs the state to run his trial. As well he should be required to pay to the woman compensation for the lost of her sight, and the compensation should be realistic, in other words, how much would she have earned as a university educated woman in the next 40 years. He should be required to pay her that amount, her medical and psychological expenses and the cost of any housekeeping or social assistance which she requires, for example the cost of a driver. In addition he should be required to pay her some appropriate sum for the lost of her beauty and the consequent diminishing of her marriage opportunities. In addition he should be required to pay her parents a sum appropriate to the loss of services from this daughter which they have suffered. In addition he should be required to apologize to her in open court, and as well he should be required to send a letter of apology to the woman to all media houses in the country and to pay the media houses for printing or broadcasting that letter.

    And if one of the other prisoners kills him or blinds him while he is in jail we need not mourn.


  3. He should be required as well to pay for the cost of cosmetic surgery to repair the damage to her face, and some amount just in case doctors in the future can restore her vision, whatever the cost is.


  4. And how is he going to pay for all these things while he is in jail? Its a nice list, but not remotely practicable.


  5. I would arrange it that he would get the same treatment. What if she had said yes? Her life would have been pure misery as well. This man is one wicked individual. One man did this to a woman in Jamaica and she later died. He was charged with murder. Many men about here think that a woman can’t say no to them or break up with them. I had a friend who had split up with a man, he came by to say hello one night and she said that somehow luck was on her side. He had forgotten a bag at her house, in it was a bottle of acid. She suspected that he was planning something and didn’t have the nerve to do it. After that she stopped all communication with him.


  6. We have “moral dilemma’s” here in Barbados too! See today’s Advocate newspaper page 6 under the headline ” Man pleads guilty to unlawfully killing elderly woman nine years ago.”

    A 64 year old woman after attending church does not return home. The next day her body is discovered in some bushes with her clothing raised. The police, with the aid of DNA testing of vaginal and rectal smears taken from the victim’s body are able to make an arrest of a Trevor Taylor, 47 years of age. The lady died from a blow to the head with a blunt object. Taylor has pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing the lady.

    The moral dilemma?! The lady was raped, buggered and killed by a blow to the head but the DPP has accepted the manslaughter plea because “when Taylor struck her, he did not intend to kill her although he had caused her serious bodily harm.”

    So in 12 years (at most) Taylor who will then be 59, will be released back into society.


  7. When a judge and jury decides on a punishment, that is not the decision of a society (if that society includes the likes of me), but the decision made by a judge and jury. People that sit in judgement of others and coldly deliberate to do others harm, particularly when such harm is performed in a remote manner by other paid members of the same society, are just as guilty, or even more so, of exercising the same perverse sickness that the accused persons are charged with.


  8. @ the scout
    I watch USA on my computer, upload a number of movies and series as well – I think the the Min of Youth meant all cable accessible broadcast media that the youth and adults can see at leisure.

    However, I suggest that one ask him to tell us what he meant.

    Oh, I don’t have Direct nor MC TV.


  9. I absolutely agree with the call from Youth Minister Stephen Lashley to clean up TV and other media regarding the excessive diet of sex including homosexuality. The latter has spawned a whole new level of public acceptibility of its own, and the nastiness confronts you wherever you look, local and international.

    At the recent “royal” wedding, I couldn’t figure which of the two, out of the specially invited knighted singer, Elton John and his “male” partner/”wife” carried the respective titles “Lady” and “Sir”, or were they both “Lady”? What a moral tragedy!!

    But if you wanted to see an example of an enormous governmental contradiction of sorts, check out PAGE 18 of BARBADOS TODAY ONLINE’s edition of May 18th, 2011.

    In the face of Minister Stephen Lashley’s call for a removal of excessive sexuality from various media, as it relates to bad influence on the nation’s youth, we have here another government minister, appearing to be residing over a blatant display of simulated sex, during an environmental event at Folkstone Park.

    Simulated sex, (under the guise of culture) is the only description I can apply to the display presented by a young dance troupe from the St.James Secondary School. The audience consisted of a horde of school children with ages looking like from 6 years and up, all of them excited and loudly cheering on the disgusting display.

    Who is the person or persons at St. Jmes Secondary School responsible for training the young girls at that school in this type of dance, and also encouraging the cleavage-exposing skimpy dress? We continue to curse th effect while we nourish the cause!


  10. Nobody has to teach a child how to dance/wuk up so stop talking nonsense about sex

    Sex is necessary anyhow and will take place regardless so stop talking nonsense about sex


  11. News Just End (in)
    World coming to End
    It has started
    Six countries so far have not started the day


  12. @Tina………………”Nobody has to teach a child how to dance/wuk up”

    Girl stop talking shoite nuh? How does a child walk? He has to be taught fool, so it is the same as dance. Shut yuh stoopid mout!


  13. Tina, I am speaking in terms of the Minister’s statement. May I also add that the display of simulated sex was LESBIAN in nature.

    As to judgment day, what are the six countries that have not started their day?


  14. Tina Roach
    Please name the six countries that did not start the day. Do you have on your bridal gown as you await your turn to meet your master?


  15. I say blind de bitch wid sum acid too. den he would kno how it feels to get acid thra in ya eyes. who should thra de acid? de same girl. tie down de bitch n leh de girl average whay de bitch face is n blind he wid um. A eye fa a eye. in dis case, two eyes fa two. As simple as dat.
    A friend a mine dead many years ago n leff two lil girls causen she husban (shite-hound) thra acid pun she. Dis happen in NY. Dem two lil girls would be in dem late 30’s or early 40’s now.

    I say ‘blind de bitch’. Story dun.


  16. Hi, Random Thoughts, May 20, 2011 @ 7:31am

    @ Yardbroom:” The social and moral problems which such acts confront us with, must be explained in a way that will make sense to an ordered society.”

    You wrote:”No society will ever be perfectly ordered and it is foolish to expect so”.

    You inserted the word “perfectly” in the sentence, a word I did not use and thus altered the meaning. Very few things are “perfect” in life.

    @ Yardbroom:”Would it be right for a penalty of a fine or a few years in prison be deemed enough. After which he would be released find a partner, even marry have children.”

    You wrote:” No it would not be right to give the man a minor punishment for a major offence. An appropriate punishment would be a long period of imprisonment perhaps 20 years. And in addition he should be fined, the fine going to the state. The fine should be whatever it costs the state to run the trial”. etc etc.

    In setting a fine and other financial penalties, most jurisdictions consider the seriousness of the offence, and take cognizance of the convicted’s ability to pay any financial penalty imposed. Therefore his personal financial circumstances must be taken into account. One can impose fines of millions of dollars but if the convicted cannot pay such a sum, it makes no sense and diminishes the authority of the Court in the eyes of the populace.

    My use of the words “a few years” imprisonment, was to demonstrate that even if 20-25 years was served he would have a life after sentence served, which Miss Bahrami would not have had, or will not have – as she alluded to in Court – therefore the Dilemma for society.


  17. An eye for an eye. Forget the international press. Get the eye doctor, because it must be done properly.


  18. Islandgal 246
    I have never interfered with you or anyone else on this blog but you keep attacking me
    Kindly ease up off of it


  19. This is for Tina Roach and for Chis Halsall who was asking about times.

    Lesley Ciarula Taylor
    Staff Reporter
    It was a bit cloudy, but otherwise there were no signs of impending Armageddon at the Captain Cook Hotel in Kiritimati on Saturday morning, the first day of the end of the world…The hotel is a bucolic paradise of 20 thatched-roofed bungalows on the beach of a Pacific atoll at the farthest end of the international dateline, where each day begins…For anyone wanting to meet the Rapture head-on, there were a few rooms available…In Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, one of the farthest eastern spots in Russia. Anastasia Barinova at the three-star Hotel Petropavlovsk outlined the forecast for May 21: “Today will be rain.”
    Same time zone and same rain forecast but much, much further south sits Auckland, New Zealand, where “Prisoner Admits Killing Inmate” led the New Zealand Herald website.


  20. browngal
    we doan want na eye docta. tie down de bitch, gih de blind girl a bowl a acid, leh she feel fa whay he face is n dash all pun he face; eyes, mout, nose evva fcuk. he had a eye docta when he thra de acid in she face?

    islandgal
    de res a he face fcuk up fa life. just like hers, only worsa. story dun.


  21. “Islandgal 246
    I have never interfered with you or anyone else on this blog but you keep attacking me
    Kindly ease up off of it”

    Tina it will ease on May 22nd when your world would come to an end! You does talk some real nonsense at times…try thinking before you push the post comment button.


  22. Speaking of acid. Those who are spreading this thing about the world coming to an end today, should be given an acid bath ,(burn at the stakes) starting at 0001Hrs (a minute after midnight) on Sunday Morning.


  23. @David | May 20, 2011 at 8:09 AM | We need to make up our minds, this is Sharia Law at play.
    ========================
    Well my mind was made up a long time ago. This is one aspect of Sharia Law that I’ve always been in favour of, and we should have some of it right here in Barbados.
    The men that deliberately started the Campus Trends fire that killed 6 young women should have to suffer the same fate once found guilty. It would also send a very strong message to other like-minded potential criminals.


  24. @Ping Pong | May 20, 2011 at 8:15 AM | We have “moral dilemma’s” here in Barbados too! See today’s Advocate newspaper page 6 under the headline ” Man pleads guilty to unlawfully killing elderly woman nine years ago.”
    =============================
    Similar sentencing to the Long Beach murder. The women are dead as a result of malicious attacks, and these killers getting light sentences. They should be hung.


  25. @BAFBFP

    When a judge and jury decides on a punishment, that is not the decision of a society (if that society includes the likes of me), but the decision made by a judge and jury. People that sit in judgement of others and coldly deliberate to do others harm, particularly when such harm is performed in a remote manner by other paid members of the same society, are just as guilty, or even more so, of exercising the same perverse sickness that the accused persons are charged with.
    *****************************
    I am surprised that this statement was allowed to stand unchallenged for so long, particularly when you have not proposed an alternative.
    How would you judge those who commit crimes against other members of society? How should decisions on punishment be made? How should sentences be carried out?

    This society that you would be a part of… is anarchy be the governing principle?


  26. @ Sargeant

    Cuh Dear, people don’ normally read anything da I pos’ why you had to come and spoil it now? One thing that I’ve learned over the past few years from the good ol’ religiously consistent Geogie Porgie MD is to Never let sleeping dogs lie … you get me. You obviously have learned at the feet of the same master. So I gun wake up an’ deliver to you an appreciation of the serious failing that is the human condition. In fact I change my mind .. maybe another time no?


  27. Did anyone listen to David Ellis on the talk show trying to bring ‘balance’ because a caller highlighted some of the challenges we are having with young people today? Wonder what flavour Koolaid Ellis drinking.

    Some schools in Barbados the teachers are scared of their lives, back in the day a teacher walked into the classroom and there was immediate silence. Now we have to deal with the scourge of drugs in our schools and the list goes on. We are living in a different time which calls for a different thinking. To compare with days of all is not the way.


  28. @ David | May 20, 2011 at 8:09 AM |
    “We need to make up our minds, this is Sharia Law at play.”

    Make up our minds about what David and in what respect…the subject-matter is wide. What is Sharia law?

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