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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Brunei implements sharia law

    By Cassidy Lee

    Staff Writer

      On April 3, Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, implemented a new criminal law, known as the Sharia law, that comprises of death by stoning for sex between men, homosexuality, adultery, and the amputation of limbs for theft. However, the new found law has caused international outcry and faced intense criticism.

      According to BBC, “Brunei’s foreign ministry has said implementing Sharia law is about prevention rather than punishment.”

      The Bruneian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erywan Yusof, claimed that the Sharia law is aimed to educate, deter, rehabilitate, and nurture rather than to punish. The law is aimed to respect and protect the rights of all individuals and societies of any race or religion.  

      The Brunei Prime Minister’s office said in a statement  to the New York Times, “[Brunei] is a sovereign Islamic and fully independent country and, like all other independent countries, enforces its own rule of laws.”

      The new law was constructed off of a penal code based on Sharia, which is an islamic law derived from the Quran. Extramarital sex and abortion are also to be punishable by stoning. The death penalty is included for other offenses such as rape and blasphemy like ridiculing the Quran or the Prophet of Mohammed.

      The implementation of the law will allow legal leeway to issue capital punishment for the performance of black magic and sodomy.

      Brunei is one of the many countries that do not tolerate the LGBTQ community. Countries such as Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia have been targeting  LGBTQ groups across the country. These communities have been subject to mass killings and public hangings.

     “For years, punishing homosexuality and adultery with death has not been uncommon in Sharia-law based societies,” states Benjamin Lyberg of the Lawfare Project to Fox News. “Brunei is just the latest nation to jump on this extremist, barbaric bandwagon.”

      Rachel Chhoa-Howard, a Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, stated to the New York Times,“[Brunei] must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments, and revise its penal code in compliance with its human rights obligations.”

      Not only has the implementation of the Sharia law caused uproar among nations, but also the lack of LGBTQ rights in Islamic countries has prompted worldwide outreach.

      Many countries have stated that the new law is “inhumane.” In the United States, protests have began throughout the country. Celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres and George Clooney have urged their followers on social media to boycott hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, including the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.

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