Ear for an ear does the punishment fit the crime?

A Pakistani judge has ordered two men to have their ears and noses cut off, as punishment for doing the same to a woman who refused to marry one of them. The government prosecutor Ehtisham Qadir said the punishment had been awarded in accordance with the Islamic principle of “an eye for an eye”.

The sentences are in line with the Islamic law of Qisas, which stipulates punishment equal to the crime unless the culprit is pardoned by the victim or the victim’s family.

Is the punishment fair? or barbaric like this blogger thinks:

“I have no sympathy for the two men as they did the same thing to a woman whose family refused a marriage proposal. But the fact that a state court would sentence someone to have their nose and ear cut off is barbaric by any standards”.

45 Responses to “Ear for an ear does the punishment fit the crime?”

  1. December 23, 2009 at 11:47

    so it shall be written, so it shall be done

  2. 2 Nigel
    December 23, 2009 at 12:27

    What makes it more brutal than murder by injection, hanging by the neck until dead, or frying in an electric chair. In Pakistan where people’s minds are wired differently due to culture and upbringing this is probably quite acceptable and may act as a deterrent to many. I would be appaled if one of our courts handed down such a sentence but culturaly our way of life is completely different to that in Pakistan and we are not wired to understand what such a sentence means. We are wired to accept legal murder but not cutting off noses and ears.

  3. 3 crispo, Uganda
    December 23, 2009 at 12:32

    There is never a clear stance on what is the best solution as far as justice is concerned. The tenet that a soft answer turneth away wrath could be premature. Sharia is built on the principal that an eye for an eye is the best. Sure at times, but sometimes innocent ones get to be punished and at times, the punishment meted out isn’t worth the crime. I don’t agree that it’s inhuman, for what the victims did wasn’t inhuman too. Bottom line is: two wrongs don’t make a right.

  4. 4 Kevin PE
    December 23, 2009 at 13:12

    If you really think about it, this judgment is perfectly in keeping with the beliefs and customs of those who live by it. It is only “barbaric” and “cruel” to persons outside of its system of crime and punishment. I remember a film made here in South Africa many years ago where a bushman was held for about 3 months in a solitary cell (all they had in the area) for a petty offence. The man, completely unused to such small confines, very nearly died, not because of a lack of food or water, but seemingly because of unbearable loneliness. In this example a beating (Not that I approve or advocate) and release may well have been kinder. Punishment as a deterrent and as an instrument of law is very much determined by the belief system of the society for which it functions.

  5. December 23, 2009 at 13:54

    USA Canada UK EU and all those who are changing infrastructure physical infrastructure from Pakistan Afghanistan Iran Africa Asian to climate changeseem changing ideas or concept.In pursuit to change religion in essence seem reversing current layout.The West is becoming east.Continents are reversing.It is no longer illegal to occupy Afghanistan Iraq Palestine or other peoples’ properties or countries.From Qom to Rome spritual leaders must be puzzled.In one month in Juarez mexico 2500 murders took place in a city of 1.5
    million.Nafta comprize Canada USA Mexico by Trade War Gang War.

  6. December 23, 2009 at 14:07

    Go no further.It is happening to my family and I past few decades in the richest
    west called Canada resembling concept or fact described by Nigel and Kevin above.

  7. 7 patti in cape coral
    December 23, 2009 at 14:14

    Did the perpetrators know the penalty for their crime? Not even addressing the horrifying barbarity of it, why would they risk it? Does the punishment fit the crime? I guess it does… I wonder if making the criminal a victim is the only way to get through to someone the enormity of what they have done. A long time ago when the children were small, a cousin slapped my daughter across the face with a hair brush. My husband was so mad, he smacked her in the same way and said “That is how that feels, do you like it?” I didn’t think it was the best way to handle it, but she never hit my daughter again, so I’m not sure.

  8. 8 Ibrahim in UK
    December 23, 2009 at 14:21

    Just a minor correction – The principal of Muslim law is that the victim has the right to justice, but it is better to forgive.

  9. 9 Frank in the USA
    December 23, 2009 at 14:25

    It’s much more cost effective than putting them in prison, feeding them three free meals a day for years and years, providing heat, clothing, air conditioning, cable TV, internet access, health care…ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    Act like an animal, get treated like an animal. Works for me.

    • 10 patti in cape coral
      December 23, 2009 at 16:20

      @ Frank – I’m not sure, but I think you are describing a prison in the US. I’m pretty sure that a Pakistani prison is not the same.

      • December 23, 2009 at 17:39

        To add to what Patti says, they ARE going to be imprisoned. The cutting off of their ears and nose is on top of that, and YES, they knew the punishment could be the same as the evil they dished out, and if this is the norm in their country it is nobody’s business who doesn’t live there.

      • 12 james Ian
        December 27, 2009 at 03:57

        I’m with this group.

    • 13 maxine - UNITED KINGDOM
      December 25, 2009 at 14:39

      I AGREE WITH YOU 100%

      • 14 fmog
        December 29, 2009 at 21:10

        I agree whole heartedly with the above group. When my daughter went through a phase of biting me and anyone who angered her in exasperation I bit her back. She never bit anyone again.
        That woman will suffer from her disfigurement for the rest of her life so it is fitting punishment that those who committed this atrocious act should suffer the same fate.
        Our criminals live a life of luxury in our prisons at enormous cost to the tax payer. Take away all the luxuries and our crime rate might actually fall.

    December 23, 2009 at 14:29

    What these men did was quite provocative and horrible to the highest degree. I am no wiser than that judge when confronted with such an ugly reality. Perhaps this will curb such misconduct in future in that society though it should not form a standard way of sentencing criminals. Though it serves as a deterent measure its clearly a reactionary one or based on a consesus established in that society. I however do not deny that a harsh sentence was required though the outcome in this instance was influenced by the criminal behavior.

  11. 17 chinaski in LA
    December 23, 2009 at 14:52

    This part of the world is so backwards.

    • 18 Tracy in Portland,OR
      December 24, 2009 at 18:52

      Backwards, aye? In your neck of the woods they just released a man who raped a child, tied her with duct tape and left her to die in freezing temperatures. The girl was his girlfriend’s sister. He never accepted responcibility even with proof he commited the crime, and the childs testimony against him. In NY a man in his 90’s was just released. He is a known predatory sex offender. His biggest wish on release is to become more involved with the young children in his family. Authorities say regardless of his age he will attempt to re-offend. These are just two releases in the last month that where high profile enough to hit the wires.

      Who is backwards?


      • 19 De
        December 25, 2009 at 02:16

        Tracy, you amaze me!! You really hit the nail ……….. Talk about “Backward”….
        I live in Beaverton, OR and I’m African and black Muslim woman and I always hear this word backward used on Africa, Islam, Middle East, etc. YUCK!

  12. 20 Gary Paudler
    December 23, 2009 at 15:17

    It does seem quite barbaric. Will the sentence be carried out under anesthesia by a doctor or some paid thugs? Are similar sentences delivered to acid-splashers? Wasn’t “eye for an eye” the philosophy underpinning the invasion of Afghanistan by some modern, sophisticated Western countries? Isn’t a hundred eyes for an eye the punishment and deterrent that Israel employs that assures them of peace and security? The sentence in Pakistan, barbaric as it seems, at least sides with the female victim which doesn’t always seem to happen.

  13. 21 Eva , Berlin
    December 23, 2009 at 15:25

    I cannot accept any punishment that does irreversible injury or damage to a person, even if he/she has committed a similar crime. The crime that we are talking about here is one of the many examples of the belief, that men have the right to make their choices upon what women are supposed to to. They seem to believe, that they can impose their will on women’s lives and feel themselves justified in doing so.
    This is a very cruel example of what is happening all the time, just less visible.

    What is really important: to make clear over and over again the right of self-determination of women, so that women can say “NO” without being threatened with injury or even death.

  14. December 23, 2009 at 15:52

    Sounds very fair to me.At least they will probably recieve anaesthetic,which would be more than the poor woman recieved.Take away anyones rights and you should automatically loose any rights that you now try to claim as human,because,you would not be worthy of it.

  15. 23 wintergreen
    December 23, 2009 at 15:54

    Why didnt they beat her or cut off her head or maybe pour acid over her face, all seem to be acceptable under Islamic regimes.
    We have many Sharia courts in the UK now, so no doubt this sort of thing will be coming to a town near me soon.

  16. 24 vijay pillai
    December 23, 2009 at 16:01

    Impression one get is that if there were equal rights for men and woman, this cutting off woman’s nose and ear would not have happend. it apapear it is still a male dominated society with no real freedom for woman to reject a man, where as a man can say he does not like a woman or a briani for that matter but not otherway around.Untill the society emancipate from its premitive mentality nothing is going to change and the judge is right to hand down punishment according to it own law to prevent that happeing agains.

    Come to western world if a mulsim tried to impose his or her punishment like saria law on a criminals whetehr a muslim or not the law of the land would not tolerate.

  17. 25 t
    December 23, 2009 at 16:33

    For everyone who says that this is barbaric, I can show you someone else from abroad. This person could say the same thing about various types of punishments for crimes in the States.

  18. 26 A R Shams
    December 23, 2009 at 16:47

    The punishment awarded seems accurate on the basis of whatever doctrine of thought it may be, however, its a lession for the verdicts as well as the whole world that for a crime committed has to be paid in the same coin.

  19. 27 vintner
    December 23, 2009 at 17:51

    The cultural attitudes that prompt the crime and prompt its punishment are more criminal than either.

  20. 28 Tom K in Mpls
    December 23, 2009 at 18:09

    Once again, the underlying question is ‘Do we have have the right or authority to dictate or condemn what others choose regarding law/religion/sex/food/economy….’.

  21. 29 Tom D Ford
    December 23, 2009 at 19:37

    I believe that is the ancient Code of Hammurabi, an eye for an eye. It is barbaric.

    And I also suspect that the judge is misreading the Koran.

    And we have The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so yes we can judge them.

    I suspect that the best sentence would be that those men work for that woman for the rest of their lives or at least their paychecks always go to her, because they have ruined her chances for a successful marriage and that is a life long sentence for her. They owe her everything. I don’t know how that sentence could be carried out.

    And if that is the appropriate sentence, it would be wrong to cut off their ears and noses, because that would probably ruin their ability to get work and support her.

    It would also probably be appropriate to forbid them from ever marrying, so that they can not have what they have prevented her from having.

    Tough case.

    • 30 K. Newton
      December 24, 2009 at 10:28

      What defines barbaric? They knew the law, and they chose to break it anyway. The law is designed (in this case) to be extreme enough that no one ever even thinks about committing it, so they really get what they deserve. I do not think, however, that because this law works in one part of the world that it should work in another part. It’s like forcing democracy/capitalism/communism on other parts of the world; if their culture isn’t conditioned to it, they won’t like it. We have to realize that because one thing is not acceptable in our culture does not make it unacceptable in another culture. This is a tough case, though; I agree with the marriage forfeit, but I strongly disagree with the slavery.

      • 31 Tom K in Mpls
        December 26, 2009 at 18:43

        You make one wrong assumption. You assume that a severe penalty will stop anything. Extreme behavior is not rational. No thought goes into the consequences, either personal or to the victim. All that can be done with these people is to make it impossible for them to do more harm.

  22. 32 Michelle from Jamaica
    December 23, 2009 at 21:22

    I feel sorry for that poor woman. They shold be sentenced to work and support this woman for the rest of her natural life.

  23. 33 kellie cunningham
    December 23, 2009 at 23:27

    An eye for an eye-perhaps whislt the majority feel it to be barbaric what about the punishment fitting the crime?.I am refering to specific cases of rape and child abuse in ireland-the media coverage was totally misrepresentative of the victims- reguardless of who does it its barbaric and where is the deterant who is allowing this to continue who else is covering up and what is going to be done about it.

    These are disgusting crimes againts human rights however the human rights act protects the criminals and not the victims and we as fellow humans have theballs to critise other cultures when our legal systmn is a complete joke and equally people who make false accusations of this nature should be harshly punished personaly i have no sympathy for animals who rape and abuse men women and children so perhaps an eye for an eye is quite fitting

  24. 34 Venze chern
    December 24, 2009 at 05:20

    Why ask such question when the punishment does seem to fit the crime in the eyes of the people?

    Please show due respect to their religion.

  25. 35 Josiah Soap
    December 24, 2009 at 05:42

    Good to see justice served to these sick men. If this was the UK the judge would have given the men community service and probably jailed the woman for fighting back and hurting the men.

  26. 36 scmehta
    December 24, 2009 at 14:06

    No, I do not agree. Although the perpetrator of any crime deserves a harsher punishment and hurt than he has inflicted on the victim, yet the inhuman acts/crimes should not be reacted or re-enacted in the same manner; How can you bear to do that in a civilized society? And How will that prove us, the just humans, any different from the evil and the unjust?

  27. 37 Iain
    December 24, 2009 at 17:22

    In this case, I’m afraid I have to agree with the Judge.

    They disfigured her, let them be disfigured also.

  28. 38 Dennis Junior
    December 24, 2009 at 19:01


    The problems look like a correct punishment, since it equals to what happen to the lady from the 2 gentlemen….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  29. 39 Pommy B'Stard
    December 25, 2009 at 11:27

    This is crazy . Where does one draw the line between the crimes of vicious miscreants and a State that authorises the same vicious retribution. Surely both are equally abhorent but the State acts on behalf of the nation making everyone in it guilty. instead they need to ditch the stupid religion that endorses both.

  30. 40 Jenni from NW
    December 25, 2009 at 13:18

    These people also caused the death of the victim’s mother, who died of a heart attack when she saw what had happened to her daughter.

    I once knew someone who worked as prison guard in a country that allows the death sentence. He said if anyone has ever witnessed an execution, they NEVER commit a crime like it themselves.

    I think severe punishments should be highlighted as a deterrent to others. Unfortunately the subtext of this story, in every report I have seen is that such punishments are rare. An opportunity missed?

    Why not make everyone believe the penalties will be harsh even if they do not turn out to be so?

  31. 41 Elias
    December 25, 2009 at 18:58

    An eye for an eye is absolutely rediculous in this case, the judge should have known better than passing such a senence, which is no help to her. It would have been better to make them pay money to the woman for their rest of their lives and have them horse whipped in public. Any and everything should be done for the benefit of the woman, eg plastic surgery so that she could better live her future life.

  32. 42 kingsley
    December 27, 2009 at 12:06

    very good

    December 27, 2009 at 13:03

    I agree with the judge they knew what they were going to do, they also put wire around her neck! The same should happen to them.

  34. 44 mat hendriks
    December 27, 2009 at 16:51

    Also their brain!

  35. 45 Shahla Gulnaz
    December 29, 2009 at 18:44

    Some times it seems very easy to comment,to critisize,to point out …… Here i would like to ask a question, can u feel that pain,the panic feelings,injury and feeliar of losing orgens??? Nobody can provid her with these organ, nobody can console her,and no one can do the justice…….. Think for a while yourself in the same place,will somebody be able to share your painic feelings,At that time U yourself don’t need such life partner or any justice.So what if justice demand the same.But it is enough to understand,what wrong had been done wuth her’s life……Even it is not to console but it must be to make someone realize that,what crime was done by her that she had been punished in such a way? Think for a while plzzzz!

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