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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Govt must evaluate what constitutes shariah offence, says Bebas

Bebas member Azrul Khalib questions whether shariah law is meant to punish or help people when they have made mistakes.
Azrul-Khalib-canning-hudud-shariah-1KUALA LUMPUR: Civil rights group Bebas has urged the government to evaluate what constitutes a shariah offence and whether the appropriate response is to inflict penalty or to encourage rehabilitation.

Its co-founder Azrul Khalib said the current response to those who transgressed shariah law focussed only on crime and punishment.
“There is a need to evaluate what constitutes a shariah offence because right now it is being treated as a crime,” he said.
“The reality is that it (shariah law) does not require severe punishment meant for a crime,” he told FMT after the official launch of Bebas on Saturday.
He questioned whether shariah law is only meant to punish people or help them when they made mistakes.
He was commenting on Kelantan’s recent decision to implement public caning, which sparked interest among other parties such as Kedah PAS and Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria for the states to follow suit.
Azrul also said he was not convinced that the ruling would only affect Muslims as claimed by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“I am not reassured by what the DPM had stated. Why should we not be treated equally?”
“Can’t we get the same kind of justice as what the non-Muslims get?” he said.
Azrul claimed that the move was about imposing control over Malay-Muslims.
“In my opinion, these religious authorities are deviating from the real purpose (of shariah law). The issue here is all about exerting control on the Malay-Muslim community,” he said
Meanwhile, Kedah PAS commissioner Ahmad Fakhruddin Syeikh Fakhrurazi said yesterday that the party was planning to include public caning of shariah offenders in its manifesto for the 14th general election (GE14).
He said the decision on whether such a punishment was appropriate for the state would be deliberated by the party’s manifesto committee.
On Wednesday, the Kelantan state assembly passed an amendment to the Shariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which calls for shariah offenders to be caned in public for the offences of zina (adultery), false accusations of zina, sodomy and alcohol consumption. -FMT

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