We know that religion is more and more something quite different from what it was in centuries (even decades) gone by. Yes, there are literalists out there, who insist on some reading of a religious text, and do harm to promote and defend that reading. But outside of certain (increasingly easy to identify) regions, for example Saudi Arabia, to say that both person X and person Y are Muslims, or Christians, is to say very little.
Not all bullshit is created equal. There is bullshit, and then there is bullshit on steroids (see above). The reason this is the stinkiest, most revolting bullshit, and I go back to debunking it is that it provides the deceitful, violent extremists precisely the kind of ammunition they need to silence voices of dissent and disguise their true nature. The fact that it comes from (supposedly) secular people makes it even more dangerous.
Hence, to see how differently Islam is practiced away from Saudi Arabia (its birthplace), we can take a look at several Island nations many thousands of miles away. These areas, visited by thousands of western tourists every year, put on a nice facade of what a “modern” Islamic nation should look like. And yet, you don’t have to dig deep to find the barbarism of Islam lurking beneath the thin veneer of modernism.
So let’s take a look at a few of those dungeon paradises that have been in the news recently.
The Sultanate of Brunei, a small but affluent tourist destination in Southeast Asia, has suddenly remembered that, lapsed as it may be, it is nonetheless an Islamic nation and hence it should follow the Sharia. Which has lead to this:
The sultan of oil-rich Brunei on Thursday announced the start of a new criminal code based on sharia law that will eventually prescribe punishments that include amputation and stoning, the first of Southeast Asia’s predominantly Muslim countries to impose the harsh form of Islamic law.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah celebrated the new legal code as obedience to “God’s command, as written in the Koran.” Human rights advocates around the world have criticized the action as “draconian” and “medieval.”
Under the first phase, fines and jail terms were introduced Thursday for offenses that include failure to attend Friday prayers, indecent behavior and pregnancies outside of marriage.
A second phase of the law, which will come into force later this year, provides for severing of limbs and flogging for property crimes. A third phase set for late 2015 will allow the justice system to sentence offenders to death by stoning for crimes including adultery and gay sex.
The law applies to those of all religions in the sultanate, where Muslim Malays constitute a 70% majority of the country’s 400,000 citizens, the news agency reported. Non-Muslim Chinese account for about 15% of Brunei’s population.
May Allah help you if you are a non-Muslim living under Muslim majority rule, because it won’t be fun!
But if Brunei is the first of Southeast Asian nations to go down this path, as the article says, it is certainly not the only one. Next door, in Malaysia, your jaw will drop to the floor, to hear what a freaking doctor has to say. And not any doctor, but the head of a medical association.
Those who want surgeons to carry out hudud [limb amputations under Islamic Sharia] punishments should work to change the doctors’ Code of Professional Conduct before demanding they be mandated to perform amputations, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said.
MMA president Datuk Dr NKS Tharmaseelan told The Malaysian Insider that until that happened, doctors would have to abide by the Medical Act which is under the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
“We do not want doctors to fall foul of the law. Doing such amputations will certainly be met with disciplinary action by the MMC,” he said.
Dr Tharmaseelan was responding to pro-hudud groups who have flayed the MMA head for suggesting that the PAS-led Kelantan state government use the services of butchers instead of surgeons to carry out hudud punishments.
Yes, this is the head of Malaysian Medical Association suggesting that the state turn to butchers to carry out human amputations! But of course, the good doctor has come under criticism from other Muslims, not for endorsing amputations for non-medical reasons, but for “hurting Muslims’s feelings”. (It is, of course, no secret how easily Muslims’ feelings are hurt.)
Ikatan Pengamal Perubatan dan Kesihatan Muslim Malaysia (I-Medik) chairman Prof Dr Azmi Md Nor had said Dr Tharmaseelan’s comments were unprofessional and did not take into consideration the feelings of Muslims.
Dr Azmi had said Muslim doctors not only carry out their duties according to the Islamic medical oath, but are also in full support of Shariah law.
He said the MMA president’s statements were made in haste without any effort to understand the importance of Shariah law to the public, especially to Muslims and the thousands of Muslim medical professionals in the country.
How dare the guy tell Muslim doctors not to chop off arms and legs for no medical reason whatsoever, doesn’t he understand they will be offended, as will the rest of the public??
Other Muslim doctors have also been “religiously offended”, even though they seem to be undecided on how much pain the “procedure” should inflict on the victim:
The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (Imam), in expressing its support for the proposed hudud law, had also taken Dr Tharmaseelan to task for his “lack of sensitivity”.
It had also said that since the moral punishment for hudud is to inflict pain, fear, remorse and repentance and since a surgeon could not perform amputations without anaesthesia, it would defeat the underlying principle of hudud.
“The moral of punishment for hudud is to inflict pain, fear, remorse and repentance on the convicted, as a lesson not to repeat the crime, and the public execution is a strong deterrent to future criminal acts,” said its president Dr Abdul Rahim Mohamad.
“Thus, undertaking the amputation under anaesthesia defeats the underlying principle of hudud. This, however, is a point of serious contention between the various schools of thought and Imam is open to other evidence-based and Shariah-compliant opinions which best prescribe the active role of the Muslim physician.”
He wants evidence based guidelines for his medical practice! How can you be more professional than that?
Further west in the ocean, the tourist resort of Maldives is not to be left out.
The Maldivian government enacted the regulation, which makes provision for execution by lethal injection, for the crimes of premeditated murder or deliberate manslaughter.
While the age of criminal responsibility is 10 in the Maldives, some crimes under the country’s Sharia laws — known as Hadd offenses — have an age of responsibility of 7. This means that juveniles could potentially face execution in the archipelago.
Death penalty for 7-year-olds. Isn’t that swell? But hey, who are westerners to raise an eyebrow?
Local Maldives media reported that Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer defended the decision to reinstate the penalty, saying that the Maldives was suffering from overcrowded prisons and a “lively criminal environment.”
He was also quoted as saying that the Maldives was “a hundred percent Islamic country and there are certain values that we all believe in.”
Right, try telling that to the supposed secularist claiming to say two people are both “Muslim” doesn’t mean they have anything in common.