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Thread: Shariah Law: Outrage over women’s caning for illicit sex

  1. #1
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    Oct 2008

    Shariah Law: Outrage over women’s caning for illicit sex

    Outrage over women’s caning

    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — An advocacy group and politican Datuk Zaid Ibrahim were outraged that the government allowed three Muslim women to be caned for illicit sex under Syariah laws although such punishment is illegal in the Federal Constitution.

    The Sisters in Islam (SIS) condemned the caning carried out on Feb 9, where two women received six lashes while another one was punished with four.

    “Given that several issues on shariah and constitutional grounds, sentencing guidelines and Malaysia’s commitments to international human rights instruments that were raised on the Kartika case remain unresolved, we question the government’s motive in proceeding with the caning of Muslim women,” executive director Dr Hamidah Marican said in a statement.

    She also questioned Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein disclosing the punishment yesterday, days after it was carried out.

    “And to do this surreptitiously implies that the government wanted to hide this degrading and unjust treatment from public scrutiny,” she said.

    Hamidah asked if the men involved were also found guilty for illicit sex and similarly sentenced and caned.

    “We urge the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to take immediate steps to address the several unresolved issues arising from the caning sentence carried out on these women and the Kartika case.

    “This case constitutes further discrimination against Muslim women in Malaysia. It violates Constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination as whipping of women under Shariah Criminal Offences legislation contradicts civil law where women are not punishable by caning under Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” she added.

    Hamidah also urged the government to review caning as a form of punishment as it violates international human rights principles which regard whipping and other forms of corporal punishment as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

    Political maverick Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was sarcastic in his comment which he tweeted in his twitter microblogging account.

    “Only in lawless 1 Malaysia can state court order caning for women although Federal law precluded women from such punishment,” Zaid said.

    Singapore’s Straits Times quoted Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan as saying that it was worrying that the punishment of the three women had gone ahead while the caning issue was still being hotly debated by Muslim scholars, religious groups and human rights activists.

    “The impression was that Kartika’s case would be the first, so I’ve got no idea what has happened,” he told Agence France-Presse. “It’s not as if this is the Middle East... it’s not a good signal that they’re sending out.

    “We are against any form of corporal punishment, for men or women,” he said. “The fact is, that any form of whipping is barbaric.”

    Malaysian Human Rights Association president Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, a Muslim constitutional lawyer, said he believed that the caning was outside the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts.

    He said the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 — which confers powers on the Syariah courts — does not authorise caning of the kind dictated by Islamic law.

    Hishammuddin said that the case of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor had been blown out of proportion and created anxiety among the public.

    He added that the whipping sentence did not cause any injury on them.

    The three women offenders, together with four men, had been sentenced to whipping under section 23 (2) of the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Syariah Criminal Offences Act 1997 (Adultery) by the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court between December 2009 and January this year.

    He said a representative from the Home Ministry was present when the sentence was meted on the offenders.

    Others present included representatives from Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department, the Syariah division of the Attorney-General’s Office and the Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

    Based on interviews with the three women offenders, they were remorseful and had repented although the whipping did not leave a mark, he added.

    “It is hoped that the issue will not be wrongly interpreted to the extent of tarnishing the sanctity of Islam. The sentence is to educate and make the offenders realise their mistakes and to return to the right path,” he added.

    One of them was released on Feb 14 after spending a month in prison, Hishammuddin added.

    He said another would be released over the next few days while the third would be released in June.

    Under prison rules, only those who are serving a sentence can be caned. But civil law does not allow caning for women while only men below 50 can receive the punishment.

    In carrying out the caning sentences, the country’s prison authorities have now demonstrated their willingness to carry out caning sentences on women if ordered to do so by a Syariah court.

    The sentencing of women to be caned sparked a major controversy last year after part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor was sentenced to be caned by a Syariah court for the Islamic offence of drinking beer.

    Government officials hoping to avoid any criticism had asked her to appeal the sentence. She refused, and instead, asked for the caning to be expedited.

    Faced with domestic and foreign criticisms and fearful of the effect the caning of a woman would have on Malaysia’s image as a moderate Muslim country, officials continued to delay carrying out the sentence.

    Recently, religious officials in Pahang, where Kartika was sentenced, said the caning issue would only be decided after she has an audience with the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

    Kartika, 33, was fined RM5,000 and sentenced to be given six strokes of caning by the Syariah High Court here on July 20 last year after pleading guilty to consuming liquor in a hotel at Cherating on July 11, 2008.

    Last September, the Prisons Department declared it was ready at any time to carry out the caning of Kartika, but were only waiting for an order from the Syariah court. TheMalaysiaInsider....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Shariah Law: Outrage over women’s caning for illicit sex

    Press self-censorship in Malaysia: a case study

    Wednesday, 24 February 2010 Super Admin

    Aiyoh! Do all Chinese prostitute themselves like this? I hope not or else this country is doomed. Hmm…what did that special officer to Prime Minister Najib say in the 1Malaysia seminar in Melaka: all Chinese came to this country as prostitutes? Well, at least The Star and its owners, MCA, did. And they are still prostituting themselves.


    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    No offence meant

    It has been brought to our attention that a commentary piece in The Star headlined “Persuasion, not compulsion” on the recent caning of three women for syariah offences has offended certain quarters.

    We would like to categorically state that there was no intention to insult or offend Muslims with the article by managing editor P. Gunasegaram that was published last Friday.

    The Star sincerely apologises to those who were offended by the content of the article.

    As a newspaper that bills itself as The People’s Paper, we strive to serve all our readers’ interests and are mindful of the need to be sensitive to their beliefs.

    The Star, 24 February 2010


    Muslims instruct goodness and rule out evil as to Allah's command to "command what is right and forbid what is wrong" (Surah Luqman, verse 17)

    There is no compulsion where deen is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surah al-Baqara, verse 256)

    ************************************************** Malaysiatoday....

    Air Kosong: The Star, stand up for your rights, will you please?.

    Repost of The Star Article: Persuasion, not compulsion.

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