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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Whipping Frenzy

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Now, everyone can get whipped - if these folks have their way, that is.

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(or download PDF version)

The screenshot above is from today's version of The Star Online news report, which we'll call v1.1. Apparently, when the report was first posted yesterday, the headline was a little different, as was the content. Here's v1.0 of the same report.

Image hosting by PhotobucketClick on image to read full report
(or download PDF version)

Walski reckons that the editors at The Star watered down the wording - to make it more palatable, maybe? But reading the full article, the gist of the two articles is pretty much the same - Ikim and the Syariah Judiciary Department want to get more people whipped.

Nice... now everyone can get a whipping...
(whip it - whip it good, in the full post)

Reading the news reports, Walski couldn't help but reminisce about a personal favorite 1980's hit from a group called Devo.

Yeee har... crack that whip!

Just what is it about Muslims and their inane desire to mete out punishment? It seems as though this thing about moral policing comes up every now and again, that badly cooked nasi kandar that you just seem to keep down...

And just what constitutes khalwat? Technically, being in close proximity in a car can be classified as just that. So what... road-blocks to check marital status of folks travelling now? Or raids at the library? Restaurants? Offices?

What about stepping up enforcement on ex-husbands who don't pay alimony? Naah... not important enough to take the next step towards a religious apartheid. Oh, wait... we already pretty much have that... one set of laws for Muslims (albeit only when it comes to "family matters" and personal morality), and another for the DLL's. Sheesh...

And you wonder why Malaysian Muslims are forced to have their religion stamped on their ID card... it's for no other reason than enforcement. Reading further down the news report (the v1.1 one) reveals other megamaniacal whip-happy plans (emphasis by myAsylum):

Another proposal is to impose heftier penalties – of up to four times the current penalties – on Muslims caught for khalwat, prostitution, consuming alcohol and involvement in gambling activities.

Mohd Asri said Ikim and the department were proposing that the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Amendment) 1984 be amended to impose stiffer penalties of RM1,000 fine, or five years’ jail or 12 strokes of the rotan for Syariah Lower Courts and RM20,000 fine, or 10 years’ jail or 24 strokes of rotan for Syariah High Courts.

Current limits are a maximum of three years’ jail, or RM5,000 fine, or up to six lashes or any combination of these, and different states provide different penalties for these offences.

“This has not been reviewed since 1984. It has been more than 20 years,” said Mohd Asri.

There was also a proposal for Syariah judges to enforce whipping for these offences.

Another proposal calls for the establishment of a rehabilitation centre for those convicted of offences related to morals and faith such as prostitution and effeminate men, and enforcement of Section 54 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (Act 559) to set up such centres.

The seminar also agreed to a suggestion that a new provision be created for apostates.

(source: the v1.1 news report from The Star)

Somebody should tell this Mohd Asri person that laws aren't like the Consumer Index that needs to "be reviewed" every so often. Modernity means critical rethinking, not simply revising laws, making them more stringent every few years, just because these great minds think we're not meeting out punishment with enough impunity...

It's no wonder that this news has left Farish Noor, well... livid like he's not been for a very long time (emphasis by myAsylum).

So this, apparently, is what the great minds of IKIM and the religious departments have been cooking up and intending to serve to us, the Malaysian public, all along. While Muslims are angry about the portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the film ‘Fitna’ by the right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, one is left with the question: As long as Muslim leaders and intellectuals remain stuck in their morass of outdated conservative thinking, would it not remain the case that Islam is seen as a religion of violence? How, pray tell, can scholars like me defend the image of Islam and Muslims when Muslim governments like ours allows such outlandish and dangerous ideas to spread, and harbour such proponents of conservative-fundamentalist Islam in the very same institutions that were meant to open up the minds of Muslims and lead us – and Malaysian society – to a more modern, progressive and liberated understanding of Islam and religion in general?
(source: The Other Malaysia)

Somebody should really tell these intellectually-challenged folks at Ikim & the Syariah Judiciary Department that Islam means Submission, not whip into Submission...