News of these new barbaric laws passed in Brunei has shook the world, with people complimenting how it is even possible in the 21st century for such 'medieval laws' to exist.
Under these strict new Islamic laws introduced by Brunei yesterday, the following applies:
- Offences such as rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad will carry the maximum penalty of death.
- Lesbian sex carries a different penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail
- The punishment for theft is amputation
- Those who "persuade, tell or encourage" Muslim children under the age of 18 "to accept the teachings of religions other than Islam" are liable to a fine or jail
For us in the western world, the only place we would have even heard of the mention of stoning to death was in stories of biblical times or the series The Handmaid's Tale, set in a fictive dystopian future, where a religion-based autocracy has taken over and these laws like stoning are reintroduced. It's difficult to comprehend for some people that this nightmare existence that we find disturbing TV viewing is a reality.
From today, Brunei’s new laws allow stoning for gay sex, amputation for robbery and brutal punishments for kids. We call on #Brunei to halt plans to implement these vicious punishments immediately. https://t.co/UoLZ9ZKa6B
— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) April 3, 2019
Naturally, there is international uproar at the introduction of these new laws. High-profile celebrities such as George Clooney, Ellen DeGeneres, and Elton John have called for a boycott of luxury hotels owned by Brunei.
Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up. pic.twitter.com/24KJsemPGH
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 2, 2019
I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect - as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) March 30, 2019
Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei defended their position in a Press release, stating the following:
Brunei Darussalam is a sovereign Islamic and fully independent country and, like all other independent countries, enforces its own rule of laws. Brunei Darussalam has always been practising a dual legal system, one that is based on the Syariah Law and the other on Common Law.In fully implementing the Syariah Penal Code Order (SPCO) 2013 from 3rd April 2019, both systems will continue to run in parallel to maintain peace and order and preserve religion, life, family and individuals regardless of gender, nationality, race and faith.The Syariah Law, apart from criminalizing and deterring acts that are against the teachings of Islam, it also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race.