Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Shaddow Of The Whip

Sitting here watching religious developments in nearby Malaysia is interesting. You might say the country has been ‘whipping up’ religious fervor of late. In July a religious court sentenced a young woman to six strokes of the cane and a fine for sitting in a club sipping a beer. Last week another court sentenced a man to six strokes and a year in jail for the same offence. Who said alcohol isn’t bad for your health? Now it is reported that a Shariah court have ordered a soon to be married couple to be given six strokes and a fine for trying to have sex in the back seat of a car. They could have got three years imprisonment as well. Now I reckon that any man who would subject his fiancé to something as unromantic and uncomfortable as cotius inbackseatus deserves 12 strokes, not six. But jokes aside. Although such laws and their penalties only apply to Malaysian Muslims, the country's large non-Muslim minorities are looking with disquiet at the gradual stricter and stricter implication of Islamic law. Some are asking if a jizya, the tax on non-believers required by Shariah, is in the offing. A few liberal Muslims are questioning if criminalizing private behavior is really possible. One wag has pointed out that although hypocrisy (nifaq) is considered one of the worst religious offences in Islam, and a punishable one, that no one has been convicted for that yet. ‘What! Are our religious, political and social institutions completely free from hypocrisy?’ they ask. Interesting question.
The picture shows caning Malaysian-style.


Anonymous said...

Religious scruples > Kindness, compassion.

Because religious obedience is more important that the "weighter" matters of the law.

reasonable said...

Sad and potentially threatening. If only compassion, good sense and reason prevails over simplistic reading and simplistic application of text from whichever religious scripture.