An Islamic court in Malaysia publicly beat two women with a cane six times each for nothing more than pursuing a romantic relationship with one another, and at least one Muslim cleric says it will “invite Allah’s blessings.”
We covered the public caning of the unnamed lesbians yesterday, after they were convicted of “sexual relations between women.” Their caning was a form of religious torture used by Sharia courts. But Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali, a member of Parliament from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), says Allah approves of the punishment and wants it to be applied in civil courts.
PAS MP Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali has lauded Terengganu’s public caning sentence against two women yesterday, claiming the Shariah punishment would “invite Allah’s blessings” to the state and its people.
The Muslim cleric suggested that the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality and Malaysian Bar should demand the implementation of Shariah caning in civil cases, and the amendment of the Penal Code to be Shariah-compliant instead if they were rational and humane.
“What is more important is the method of Shariah caning will invite Allah’s blessings to the people and the state, like it was convicted in the Prophet’s hadith.“There is no spiritual soul in the implementation of civil criminal punishments,” the Kuala Nerus MP said in a statement.
There shouldn’t be a spiritual soul in civil cases — or in criminal cases — that aren’t overseen by a religious court. In fact, there shouldn’t be any religious courts (but that’s an entirely different story).
But this is what happens when church and state are merged. You get people who believe their religion (and only their religion) should control everyone else’s life. At least others who support caning punishments in general have said this particular sentence was carried out improperly.
The punishment received worldwide condemnation, with federal minister in charge of religious affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa saying public presence during the sentencing should be reviewed.
Women’s rights groups, including Justice for Sisters and Sisters in Islam also claimed the sentencing was unlawful, as the caning punishment can only be done against prisoners, but the duo were not imprisoned.
This is a barbaric forum of punishment that has no place in the modern world, but those who cling to archaic religious traditions will always find a way to justify it. Hopefully activists in Malaysia can raise enough awareness that this law will be changed.
(Screenshot via YouTube)