The Essence of Evil
Mick Hartley brings us today this monstrous story:
"At the Jerusalem Post, an interview with a Basiji - one of the Iranian People's Militia - after his release from detention for the "crime" of having freed two Iranian teenagers - a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl - arrested during the post-election disturbances:
Some people doubt the veracity of the report, mainly because the source is the Israeli daily "The J-post". One poster claims:
"According to the Jerusalem Post? LOLOL Demonizing people when you plan to exterminate them is par for the course."
Another joins him:
Only a Zioshitstain, or a christian zio-shitbag would believe such garbage. Shows the true intellect of the creature who posted it, along with that of his hangers on.
Since they presented their scepticism with such reasonable arguments and elegant restraint, I thought their claim deserved some consideration. After some googling, I found that knowledge of this practice has been available for quite some time, at least on the Internet.
For example, a post in the AFU&Urban legend website, from 14 Apr 1993 asked the question and answers:
"I seriously doubt that the story has any validity to it because the few articles that I've read about the "severity" of the Shari'a (e.g., cutting off hands, execution, etc.) have never mentioned anything about something like this. It's the sort of item that the media would love to write up about.
-->"A woman's rape is frequently the last act that precedes her execution. This is explained by the rule in Iranian political prisons that the sentence of execution cannot be carried out if the woman is a virgin. Since there is a theological belief that if a woman dies a virgin she will go to heaven, the politically active virgin is forced to "marry" before her execution and thus to insure she will go to hell. She is forced to "marry" the hangman who will carry out her execution.. This marriage is conducted as a legitimate and official contract which includes, among other things, an estimated dowry. This "dowry" is subsequently paid to the family of the victim; it simultaneously becomes the equivalent of an official notification that she was executed."
From the book "Defying the Iranian revolution" By Manouchehr Ganji (2002), p. 103:
"Before execution a virgin girl is forced to become the “temporary wife” of a prison guard, who rapes her, so that at the time of the execution, she would no longer be a virgin and “innocent” someone who is said to be “destined to go to heaven”
The Charleston Gazette, an anti-capital punishment article from 2008:--> -->
-->Bahais were hanged for refusing to convert to Shiite Islam. Women were stoned for adultery. Gays were put to death. Torture, flogging and chopping off hands and feet under Islamic law became rampant. Amnesty International counted 5,195 Iranian executions in the first four years of the new government. "60 Minutes" reported that, because the Islamic code forbids execution of virgins, some condemned young women were raped by guards before being shot.
-->According to Paul Ricoeur “Evil is, in the literal sense of the word, perversion, that is, a reversal of the order that requires respect for law to be placed above inclination. It is a matter of a misuse of a free choice... The propensity for evil affects the use of freedom, the capacity to act out of duty – in short, the capacity for being autonomous.”
Emmanuel Levinas: "The essence of evil is its instrumental ambiguity."
When I read this story, I recalled an episode in the BBC drama series "I, Claudius" in which the family of the conniving Sejanus is being murdered, including a very young girl. Even as fiction about Rome, I thought at the time it must have been highly exaggerated:
Guard: "The girl is a virgin. It's unprecedented to kill a virgin. It will bring bad luck to the city."
Macro: "Then make sure she's not a virgin when you kill her. Now GET ON WITH IT."
One commenter corrected me about the fictionality of the practice. Apparently, the historian Tacitus recorded it in the Annals, book 5, chapter 9:
"It was next decided to punish the remaining children of Sejanus, though the fury of the populace was subsiding, and people generally had been appeased by the previous executions. Accordingly they were carried off to prison, the boy, aware of his impending doom, and the little girl, who was so unconscious that she continually asked what was her offence, and whither she was being dragged, saying that she would do so no more, and a childish chastisement was enough for her correction. Historians of the time tell us that, as there was no precedent for the capital punishment of a virgin, she was violated by the executioner, with the rope on her neck. Then they were strangled and their bodies, mere children as they were, were flung down the Gemoniae. "