Sultan of Brunei Introduces Islamic Law Including Death by Stoning and Amputation of Limbs | Atheist Republic

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On October 22nd, 2013 the Sultan of Brunei announced that the kingdom will implement Sharia-mandated criminal codes, including the death by stoning as a punishment of adultery. A copy of the new Sharia code states that penalties will include the severing of limbs for theft and public flogging for offenses such as abortion and consuming alcohol. Applicable only to Muslim citizens, the new code is slated to be phased in over the course of the next six months. The oil-rich State of Brunei borders Malaysia and Indonesia and is officially an Islamic state, with Muslims constituting 67-70% of the population.

“It is because of our need that Allah the Almighty, in all his generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilize them to obtain justice. By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled,” announced Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is the absolute ruler of the tiny kingdom, holding both the offices of Sultan and prime minister. He made this announcement in a speech to open the state's nominal parliament, the Majlis Ilmu.

The implementation of Sharia is resented by many citizens who cite its incompatibility with native Malay culture. Brunei is also home to a large non-Muslim population of ethnic Chinese people, indigenous tribes and South Asians, who practice Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and indigenous faiths. A British protectorate until 1984, the state has a dual legal system with civil courts governing based on legal codes implemented under British influence, and parallel Sharia courts adjudicating on Muslim family disputes.

"It seems almost incompatible with Malay culture, which is peace-loving," said Tuah Ibrahim, 57, a boat taxi driver in Bandar Seri Begawan, the national capital. “I can't imagine our country turning into somewhere like Saudi Arabia.”

The Sultan has blamed globalization and greater integration with the outside world for a perceived erosion of social morality. In 2012, the government made religious education mandatory for Muslim children and ordering the closing of all businesses on Friday, the Muslim sabbath. Brunei also prohibits publications of other religions and the display of other religious symbols such as the Christian crucifix. Proselytizing by religions other than Islam is strictly forbidden.

It remains to be seen how strictly the new laws will be enforced. The Attorney General of Brunei had promised in 2011 that cases judged under Sharia law would require a heavy burden of proof and allow judges considerable discretion.
 

Written By: Nirav Mehta
continue to source article at atheistrepublic.com

52 COMMENTS

  1. If interest is not allowed under Sharia, does his enormous wealth cease to inflate now?
    I checked to see if there is some loophole allowing him to claim interest from banks in the unbelieving west, and question 6 (See the link) says that is just fine. Just don’t take interest from fellow sharia-oppressed folk.

    Islam isn’t all bad, see?

    • In reply to #4 by ShadowMind:

      Stand by for mass emigration…”It’s only for the muslim population”, but how long will it take to be extended to everyone? Not long, methinks.

      I find this very sinister. if non-muslims are allowed to live a life of decadence it will create a division in society. non-muslims will become conspicuous by the company they keep, the places they frequent and ultimately the areas they’ll live.

      he may have something much worse lined up for the infidel but first wants the infidel to make himself known. or he may not in which case there’s a ready made scapegoat for the mob to turn on when his regime creates civil unrest.

      lambs to the slaughter

    • Maybe religion is the wrong target to be set against?

      Religion being a consequence. Opposing religion is like treating disease symptoms instead of the cause. Blaming the victim etc.

      This policy is more like what politicians do when they get power, becoming greedy for more or fearful of less. The only hope for most people is ‘stable’ government, where even a powerful politician can perceive that there is clearly no real possibility of incompetent evil leaders being evicted, and also no real possibility of rival leaders of any degree of incompetency or evilness ever rising to power. Which implies it would make sense for them to not rock the boat.

      Obviously this guy in Brunei is becoming seriously desperate. He may only have a few months or years left to fully squander his people’s future. So he’s cornered and capable of anything. Maybe his kids have gone rotten on him and aren’t reallyt interested in taking over the throne.

      Personally, I blame the people who allow politicians of any variety to acquire or retain power, normally the voters. People get the government they deserve. The people of Brunei appear to be among the most deserving in the world.

      You’re also forgetting that every religious person is implicitly very much more anti-religious than the average atheist. It’s religious people mainly who are against religion. Just not against their own religion. But they’re always greatly outnumbered by rival cults. Most atheists regard most religious people as incurring some kind of delusion or cognitive malfunction, of varying degrees of severity. It’s the degree of severity that matters. The peculiar wackiness of any particular religion is a secondary matter.

      All seriously religious people regard all other religious people in rival cults as inherently evil. From their perspective at least the atheists are merely neutral. The only exception being any atheist who is an ex-religionist of the preferred one true reference religion. Atheists who are ex-religionists from rival cults may be at least not be too severely condemned for abandoning their false and evil gods, They might even eventually deserve being congratulated after they embrace the one true religion. While atheists are merely those people who haven’t yet adopted the one true religion, maybe they’re waiting to see who comes out on top first. None looking particular good at this stage in the competition.

      It may be a mistake to focus on religion being a bad thing for nations, when replacing theocracy with monarchy or democracy may not necessarily be an improvement. Any form of government may become a theocracy if it serves the purpose. Basically that’s exactly how Roman Catholicism started.

      In reply to #6 by prettygoodformonkeys:

      Hey, religious people: this is why we shrill, strident atheists are against religion. Because THIS is what religion does when they get power.

  2. I have not been to Brunei but I have been to bordering Indonesia. The Islam there is very relaxed. I can’t imagine Indonesians going for Shari’a, so I wonder how well this will go down in Bruneii.

    Since the law applies only to Muslims, it would seem you could avoid prosecution with a roadside conversion.

    • In reply to #7 by Roedy:

      I have not been to Brunei but I have been to bordering Indonesia. The Islam there is very relaxed. I can’t imagine Indonesians going for Shari’a, so I wonder how well this will go down in Bruneii.

      Since the law applies only to Muslims, it would seem you could avoid prosecution with a roadside conv…
      Wouldn’t that be apostasy, punishable by death under Sharia law?

    • In reply to #7 by Roedy:

      I have not been to Brunei but I have been to bordering Indonesia. The Islam there is very relaxed. I can’t imagine Indonesians going for Shari’a, so I wonder how well this will go down in Bruneii.

      Since the law applies only to Muslims, it would seem you could avoid prosecution with a roadside conv…

      Na, I think apostasy is a capital crime. You’re screwed coming and going.

    • In reply to #7 by Roedy:

      I have not been to Brunei but I have been to bordering Indonesia. The Islam there is very relaxed. I can’t imagine Indonesians going for Shari’a, so I wonder how well this will go down in Bruneii.

      Since the law applies only to Muslims, it would seem you could avoid prosecution with a roadside conv…

      Unfortunately a conversion from Islam is Apostasy which is also illegal.

      This is about the Sultan consolidating his power and ensuring there is no dissent. The Sultan is of course exempt from these laws as he passed a law a few years ago that says he and his family cannot be wrong. If the laws did apply to him he would be running out of limbs and there wouldn’t be enough stones in the country. The Bruneians are a really nice people – I know first hand. But the more radical and conservative interpretations of Islam are taking hold there. If you want to see how so just read the ‘Brunei Times’ Friday edition with its religious lift out section to see amazing works of cognitive disassociation on how they rationalise the irrational.

      I think you will find that the Sultan is considerably richer than 20b – he’s just learned to hide it better. And the extravagances haven’t really stopped either. Brunei has a population of less than 500k yet the Sultan feels the need to have a 747 as his private aircraft. Once they published the national budget a few years ago and almost 20% of a 5 billion budget was spent on the police – sounds like someone is paranoid about an uprising.

  3. What if we had a global declaration of human rights that that put some clamps on criminal law.

    We need a principle that anything men are permitted to do, so are women and vice versa.

    No religion can be favoured over another by state law.

    There has to be some way of limiting the severity of punishment to be commensurate with the crimes.

  4. He’s top bugger so he can say or do what ever he chooses. That’s the glorious thing about religion, it’s infinitely adaptable to personal requirements.

    And there’s no need to worry about the justice or otherwise of the edicts of its leaders in its name, because they can never be verified or falsified, only adapted to by its followers.

    I just heard on the news that two sisters aged 19 and 16 have left their home in Norway and gone to join the fighting in Syria. Their dad says that they’ve been radicalized.

    What can be done to end this madness? Denounce it and renounce it!

    Easy to say on the outside of it I know, but it has to be done sooner or later to stop the terrible damage it does to people and nations.

  5. I wonder if this man is using his wealth to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure for his subjects, or weather he’s employing it to indulge in palaces and the like.

    Does anyone here know?

    • In reply to #18 by Stafford Gordon:

      I wonder if this man is using his wealth to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure for his subjects, or weather he’s employing it to indulge in palaces and the like.

      Does anyone here know?

      As much as I’m not a fan of this oppressive Sultan who is a leech on the country. But to be fair he does actually build a few things for his peons. The government does build schools and has reasonable almost free healthcare for the people. It also builds housing which it either gives or rents out to citizens at peppercorn rates depending on their financial situation and religious affiliations. There is no personal income tax and generally import duties are fairly low. Fuel for vehicles is cheap at about 40 cents (USD) per litre for RON 97 premium fuel. However there are aspects of infrastructure that are rundown such as power distribution systems that are up to 60 years old and blackouts can occur in some areas from heavy rain or thunderstorms. The internet is also slow, expensive, and not necessarily reliable.
      Approximately 49% of the workforce is employed by the government so with such a large portion working for the government it is quite bureaucratic at times.

    • In reply to #18 by Stafford Gordon:

      I wonder if this man is using his wealth to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure for his subjects, or weather he’s employing it to indulge in palaces and the like.

      Does anyone here know?

      Apparently, he has provided free hospital care and education for his subjects. Maybe for this reason he has received all sorts of honours from the British including a knighthood from the Queen. However, he is an absolute hypocrite. If you read the book, “Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jill Lauren you will get a detailed account of the daily parties with well paid prostitutes from all over the world and plenty of alcohol. If you don’t want to read the book, check out her account on http://www.themoth.org It was podcast last week.

  6. I was going to comment that we shouldn’t forget how large numbers of UK muslims want to be allowed to deal with crimes committed by muslims under Sharia (the previous Archbishop of Idiocy made a supportive statement, remember?). Then I googled and found this: [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9975937/Inside-Britains-Sharia-courts.html]. We’re already doing it, for goodness’ sake!

    • In reply to #19 by FrankMill:

      I was going to comment that we shouldn’t forget how large numbers of UK muslims want to be allowed to deal with crimes committed by muslims under Sharia (the previous Archbishop of Idiocy made a supportive statement, remember?). Then I googled and found this: [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews…

      Been round this one before. The daily Telegraph is not a good source of information. Sharia courts in the UK are not legal courts or criminal courts. They provide a service for non binding arbitration for people who agree to abide by the decisions.
      Its no different from Rabbinic law which does the same thing for Jewish people and has done for a long time.
      I’m all for opposing Islam and organised religion in general but I want to start with my position on the right side of reality and not be influence by right wing rags with a poor record in journalism.

      • In reply to #22 by mr_DNA:

        In reply to #19 by FrankMill:

        I’m all for opposing Islam and organised religion in general but I want to start with my position on the right side of reality and not be influence by right wing rags with a poor record in journalism.

        As opposed to the mainstream media (at least in the US) purveyors of the “Religion of Peace®” narrative?

        • In reply to #27 by godsbuster:

          In reply to #22 by mr_DNA:

          In reply to #19 by FrankMill:

          I’m all for opposing Islam and organised religion in general but I want to start with my position on the right side of reality and not be influence by right wing rags with a poor record in journalism.

          As opposed to the mainstream media (at…

          Thats whats called a false dichotomy. I can highlight things that are I know to be untrue like the suggestion we have Sharia law in the UK whilst at the same time reject the narrative that Islam is a religion of peace. Its easy enough to look at each claim individually.
          Ultimately I’m not an ideologically driven person. I care more about what is true than advancing my own position and if I’m honest I would prefer it if everybody was like that.

      • In reply to #22 by mr_DNA:

        In reply to #19 by FrankMill:

        I was going to comment that we shouldn’t forget how large numbers of UK muslims want to be allowed to deal with crimes committed by muslims under Sharia (the previous Archbishop of Idiocy made a supportive statement, remember?). Then I googled and found this: [http://…

        I should have added to my original post that I fully realize the Telegraph is hardly a bastion of journalistic reliability. But, as you acknowledge yourself, there really are people (how many?) who accept Sharia rulings in disputes. And yes, there are similar problems with acceptance of Jewish rabbinical courts: why did you omit mention of CofE ecclesiastical courts? If we are ever (and it will certainly take a very long time) going to induce attitude changes in people brought up not to question their superstitions, at some point we MUST start by taking a hard line somewhere.

        I’d suggest that “alternative” judicial systems are as good a place to start making changes as the obligatory wearing of silly hats (yes, that includes turbans), ritualized animal slaughter, mandatory sabbaths, genital mutilation of male neonates and the rest of the long list. We’ll get nowhere in the quest for a truly uncompelled, free-thinking society by constant in-your-face opposition to all aspects of religion, but perhaps firm legislated proscription of specific daft aspects of religion might cause some adherents at least to think about why they feel obliged to behave the way they do.

        • In reply to #46 by FrankMill:

          In reply to #22 by mr_DNA:

          In reply to #19 by FrankMill:

          I was going to comment that we shouldn’t forget how large numbers of UK muslims want to be allowed to deal with crimes committed by muslims under Sharia (the previous Archbishop of Idiocy made a supportive statement, remember?). Then I goog…

          Fair points. Though I would dispute whether a court of arbitration is a judicial court given that the decisions are not legally binding.
          Either party can back out or simply refuse to accept the decision.

          So maybe my point is this is nothing like religiously imposed law in any sense other than its the cleric who gets to make the decision by whatever means of woo.
          I certainly agree this is not a good way of settling disputes but realistically how would you stop it given the fact they could go through the same procedure in the Mosque or even at the imams house? Only by being over the top authoritarian and thats not something I would subscribe to. Once you start taking away peoples liberties it never results in a good outcome.
          The telegraph poll was seriously flawed in its methodology incidentally, I would like to see an independent report by a newspaper that doesn’t start off with a sensationalist agenda.

  7. That’s what a national collaboration of multinational oil companies and Islamic nutters can do for a country which previously had more harmonious relationships.

    There also seems to be a legacy of corrupt repressive governments where colonial powers have abandoned their colonies or set up puppet states after destroying the previous cultures.

  8. I have worked in the gas industry in Brunei and I can pretty much guarantee that the ban on businesses opening on a Friday doesn’t extend to the offshore installations and the onshore ( outdated and crumbling ) gas plant at Lumut, which is where Ming the Merciless gets all his wealth.
    This is a real shame for all the nice folk I met there, most of whom pay little more than lip-service to their particular invisible sky fairy. There’s going to be a lot of floggings for alcohol consumption methinks, unless the popular pastime of crossing the border into Malaysia to go drinking at the weekend doesn’t count, seeing as it’s not actually in Brunei.

  9. Flogging for consuming alcohol? That’s funny because my worst ever hangovers occurred when I was living and working in Brunei.

    More seriously this story is sad. I lived in Brunei for 3 years until 2002. I liked it there a lot because it was peaceful and tolerant. I don’t understand why the Sultan finds it necessary to obey the whims of a few fanatics. There’s also more than a hint of hypocrisy given the moral ‘crimes’ routinely committed by himself and his many relatives whenever they have ‘fun’ abroad.

  10. This is the same guy who along with his son the crown prince owns the worlds largest collection of exotic cars, ferraris, lamborghinis etc. It numbers in the thousands. They went to Mercedes Benz and custom ordered a fleet of new 600sl’s (V12 cars) bodied with 1957 300 sl and gull wing bodies made from the original dies. They went to Aston Martin and ordered a fleet of station wagon bodied Vantages and to Ferrari/Pininfarina to order a bunch of station wagon bodied Maranellos for government functionaries to use. They did the same with Rolls Royce/Bentley.
    Don’t like western values? Really? They sure seem to like western toys.

    • In reply to #24 by Naturalist1:

      This is the same guy who along with his son the crown prince owns the worlds largest collection of exotic cars, ferraris, lamborghinis etc. It numbers in the thousands. They went to Mercedes Benz and custom ordered a fleet of new 600sl’s (V12 cars) bodied with 1957 300 sl and gull wing bodies made f…

      There are rumours that they like Western women too!

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/so-whos-telling-lies-the-swinging-sultan-or-the-white-slave-beauty-1260898.html

      • Andyb
        There is more. His son, the crown prince ordered and built one of the world’s largest yachts. It is more accurately described as a ship. There are two high speed tender boats that are stored on top of the ship and lowered by their own cranes. They are named, “Nipple One and Nipple Two”.
        In reply to #25 by andyb:

        In reply to #24 by Naturalist1:

        This is the same guy who along with his son the crown prince owns the worlds largest collection of exotic cars, ferraris, lamborghinis etc. It numbers in the thousands. They went to Mercedes Benz and custom ordered a fleet of new 600sl’s (V12 cars) bodied with 1957 3…

    • In reply to #28 by crookedshoes:

      So, if I break one of these laws, can I simply claim “hey, I am not a Muslim”? Or is there a register of some type?

      maybe a system where non-muslims could have some outward display, such as a yellow star sewn onto their clothes?

    • In reply to #28 by crookedshoes:

      So, if I break one of these laws, can I simply claim “hey, I am not a Muslim”? Or is there a register of some type?

      Bruneians have their religion in their passports and on their ID cards (Malaysia does a similar thing) – and they don’t get a choice of which religion is on their passports as it is depending on what ethnic background they have.

  11. Calm down everyone. Baroness Warsi and Owen Jones are boarding a plane as we speak to go and explain to the Sultan that he’s got Islam wrong, the silly old sausage.

    Oh, sorry, hang on. I got that wrong. They’re not going after all, because it turns out that whatever they or anyone else claims Islam “really” is, it matters not one jot. All that matters is what people actually do.

  12. I’m struggling to understand why it doesn’t seem to cause any serious ripples around the world if someone threatens Muslims with stonings, amputations, floggings, etc, yet say they don’t appear to be very good at science and the world rushes to their defence.

  13. I hate to think of all those people who will get tortured to death in the coming months because of such prudish and self-righteous arbitrary rules. I feel so helpless, just sitting here in the UK while this foolish cruelty goes on elsewhere in the world. I also have to wonder what the muslim citizenry think about this recent development, and to what extent they actually agree with it.

    On October 22nd, 2013 the Sultan of Brunei announced that the kingdom will implement Sharia-mandated criminal codes, including the death by stoning as a punishment of adultery… The Sultan has blamed globalization and greater integration with the outside world for a perceived erosion of social morality.

    Ah yes, because as we all know, getting along with your neighbours is the Ultimate Evil. Ripping people’s limbs off for taking other people’s stuff, though, is A-OK.

    It’s at times like this, I have to sigh for this kind of unwanted tragedy. It’s tragic and plain embarrassing to think this was the norm once in human history.

  14. “The Sultan has blamed globalization and greater integration with the outside world for a perceived erosion of social morality. ”
    It is Globalization with Saudiaization a toxic combination.

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