In Malay-Muslim heartland, caning wins support
The end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan this weekend could see Islamic authorities in Malaysia carry out the country’s first caning sentence on a woman, a punishment that is fast gaining support.
Although the penalty has been condemned by rights groups and is being reviewed by an Islamic appeal court, it is endorsed by conservative Muslims whose influence is on the rise in this multi-racial, Southeast Asian country of 27 million people.
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Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, was caught drinking beer in a hotel and faces six strokes of the cane.
There are concerns the caning could damage Malaysia’s image at a time when it is liberalizing its economy to attract more foreign investment. But for many people in Kelantan, a poor rural state, it is more important to see justice done.
Kartika said she accepts the six strokes of the cane and has called for the sentence despite moves by the government, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, to review the punishment.
Malaysia practices a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable only to Muslims, running alongside civil laws. If Kartika is caned, she will be fully clothed.
Sharia — Islamic Law
The Sharia (Islamic law) specifies the obligatory acts (fardh), the omission of which constitutes sin, and forbidden acts (haram), the practice of which constitutes sins. Everything else, not derived from these principles, are said to be permissable (mubah)
Throughout the world, Sharia has led – and still leads – to human rights violations – including cruel and unusual punishments (e.g. death penalty by stoning, hanging, or beheading. Amputations of hands and/or feet. Public executions, canings, whippings, etcetera).
In our opinion, Sharia has no place in modern, civilized society, and should not be tolerated in any form.