Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keep religions out of politics and civil laws

A belated Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysians - I've been away on personal matters, to attend a funeral, that  for the father of my friend - more about this much later in another post.

Today, on reading The Malaysian Inside I was intrigued by an article The adulteress, the accusers, politics and Afizal, written by Rama Ramanathan. It's about the inexplicable unprecedented Appeals Court judgement in the case of rapist Noor Afizal Azizan, where the word 'consensual sex' was even raised and shockingly, accepted in a charge of statutory rape.

'Consensual sex' means both parties (in the case discussed in this post, included one mere 13 year old) had agreed to have sex with each other.

It shows the pathetic pariah-ish poverty of our legal system where the term 'consensual sex' was allowed to be employed in a case of statutory rape, in which one person, 13 years of age, was well below the age required to legally consent to the act. In fact, in statutory rape, unlike forcible rape, there is no requirement to prove force or threat preceded or was involved in the rape. The laws automatically presume coercion, because a minor or an adult who doesn't have normal mental capacity is legally incapable of giving consent to the act.

Perhaps Ramanathan was teasing the readers into drawing a parallel between the court releasing the rapist on a bond of RM25,000 (thus compassionately forgiving him for his crime) instead of jailing him for raping a minor, with the biblical story of Jesus saving a female adulterer from being stoned.

While some bibles do not include the verses of this tale, some do, like the King James version (KJV), which tells us (no worries, this is not a biblical lesson for I'm an atheist wakakaka, but merely an essential component of my post):

And early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the Law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?

This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.

But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, "Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?"

She said, "No man, Lord."

And Jesus said unto her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:2-11 KJV)

Ramanathan then asked: "I wonder whether some Malaysians think there is a similarity between the woman and Afizal the bowler who doesn’t deny having sex with a 13-year-old girl."

Well, I am still trying to draw a comparison between rape and adultery, where the former is a blatant crime of forceful physical violation, and the latter, a crime of morality but only in some religions and medieval societies. I'm afraid I have to confess I just couldn't see any similarity! Afizal admitting to his crime of statutory rape against a minor could not be equated to admission of adultery between two adults.

He continued: "I am not aware of anyone appealing to this story as a basis for compassion towards Afizal but I’m drawn to it."

Is Ramanathan claiming originality for postulating the parallel, and that there was a biblical precedent in favour of Afizal, wakakaka?

He continued: “The story of the Messiah and the woman caught in adultery is the most often told story of compassion sympathy and pity for the sufferings of others — in this case the woman’s humiliation and unequal treatment. Compassion is exercised where suffering is recognized”

… no doubt challenging us to consider whether we should extend to Afizal compassion, manifested in his bond rather than jailing.

Then rather confusingly, he wrote: “We are asked to believe the High Court judge who sentenced Afizal to a jail term did not have compassion, did not have enough sympathy or pity for the national bowler".

Hmmm, perhaps Ramanathan meant the 'raped victim' (rather than the bowler who raped the victim-minor)?  See following sentence (below) for context.

Continuing, he asked: "We are asked to believe the Court of Appeal acted compassionately in “freeing” Afizal binding him over as an encouragement to “sin no more”.

“Is that what the story of the Messiah and the woman caught in adultery is about?. Are we called to act as the Messiah did with respect to those who break the law?”

Then inviting us to ‘cast the first stone’ he asked of us:

“After all which of us has not broken the law? Have we not bought illegal DVDs? Have we not run red lights? Have we not driven in excess of speed limits? Since we ourselves are mean pieces of work and gladly not in jail. shouldn’t we be glad Afizal’s not going to jail? After all Afizal’s offence (let’s not call it a “crime”) is only consenting sex with a minor. A minor incidentally who can’t consent to abortion or breast enlargement. Is that what compassion means?"

Running red lights, speeding, buying pirate copes of DVDs? Can we equate these crimes to rape?

And Ramanathan cynically answered his own query on the question of 'consent' in that rape case where 'consent' didn't legally exist, as would be also the case of a minor 'consenting' to abortion.

Since Ramanathan has raised the issue of Jesus and his "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her", let me answer by recalling a statement of Jesus, which I had previously used to answer Rev Dr Hermen Shastri and Paul Sinnappan.

The two had on 07 August 2012, addressed a public forum in PJ, Section 8, at the Dignity International, A-2-7 Pusat Perdagangan, on the upcoming general election from a Christian perspective, where their topic was What will Jesus be doing in Malaysia today? – see Free Malaysia Today - GE 13: What would Jesus do?

I was not bloody impressed by their questionable attempt to use religion (Christianity) to influence Malaysian voters who are Christians. When I read of such clerical naughtiness, I am reminded of what a sweetie once told me about Denis Diderot's advice on priests - can't produce that quote here lest I be accused of lèse majesté, wakakaka.

In replying to Rev Dr Hermen Shastri and Paul Sinnappan's What will Jesus be doing in Malaysia today?, I wrote in my post precisely what Jesus told us 2000 years ago, as recorded in Matthew 22:21:

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

I'm not supportive of any religion intruding into Caesar's realm of politics and civil law, so please, let's leave Jesus and his "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" from the case of Noor Afizal Azizan.

Besides, there was/is/will be no* stoning of him under Malaysian civil law, nor I suspect, even under religious ones as well.

* last night I left out a vital word 'no' from the above statement - hope it gave the sh*ts to the rapist wakakaka 

From my observations, in religious laws, the poor woman usually gets the worst of the lot, as was the case in the story of Jesus and the attempted stoning of the woman adulterer, because we may well ask: just where was that bloody man adulterer?


  1. Purchased Illegal DVDs (pornographic, too) - check
    Beat Red Traffic Lights - check
    Driven way over the speed limit - check
    Parked illegally - check
    Had sex with an underaged girl (definitely no coercion whatsoever involved) - check

    Been there, done that...yet I am not a bad person.

    I work hard, conscientiously, never stolen a single cent in my life.

    The money in my bank account is 100% hard, honestly earned money.
    Which is 100% more than what our dear leaders can claim.

  2. To add to the poster above, I would differentiate between the adventures or misadventures of young adolescents and predatory hunting by older adult men looking for young Virgin meat.
    The severe penalties for statutory rape were really intended to protect underaged girls from the latter. Adolescent sex, while having many undesirable social implications really doesn't belong as a serious felony.

  3. Afizal was an already an adult when he committed the crime of statutory rape, of sex between an adult and a minor; he pleaded guilty thus his guilt of statutory rape (not adolescent sex) was never in doubt. It's the question of the court accepting the sex was "consensual" which was total nonsense because where a minor was involved, there's no such thing as "consensual" sex. That's why minors are NOT permitted to vote. It made total mockery of the Malaysian justice system.

    Furthermore, the reason given for not imposing a jailed term for him was equally questionable.

  4. Just because Afizal is a good bowler does not exempt him from crime. It will be sending a message to those good in sports that they can commit crime and get away with it. This is injustice. RPK is correct who said that the law can be manipulated. It is not the punishment but the manipulation of it. What is the use of the laws, whether hudud or not, when people can still manipulate it.

  5. Ktemoc....Hmm...did you not read or chose to ignore the last paragraph in Ramanathan's article ?
    ".....The prosecutor did the right thing...."

  6. No one has any quarrel with the prosecutor, but we have been shocked by the Court's decision. Incidentally did you even read what I posted? Read it again!

  7. When the judges underaged grandchildren,got screwed by people the likes of Thambi Chik,it serves them all right.Then to them justice is served.

  8. Age of consent for sex in Japan is 13. In Saudi a girl can be legally married at ten and Iran is trying their best to outdo that by one year, I.e. 9 years old, a girl can be married off.

    For Muslims, age of puberty is considered as an adult.

  9. The law is an ass whenever ass-men ruled arbitrarily.

  10. In Malaysia, the age of consent for sex is 16.

    "The age of consent for sex in Malaysia is 16 for both sexes.[43]

    Section 375

    Rape. A man is said to commit "rape" who ...... has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the following descriptions: (...) Sixthly – With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.[44]"

    Note : It is considered as RAPE if such sexual is committed 'WITH OR WITHOUT HER CONSENT, when she is UNDER sixteen years of age.

    As KT pointed out, what's this thingy CONSENSUAL SEX that the judged waved in his court just so the 21 year old who has 'a bright future' could escape jail time ?

  11. Based on this precedent, all future rapists have only to convince the judge they have 'bright futures' ahead of them when bedding under-age girls.....yay... goody times are here again ?!

  12. FYi, that particular verse about the prostitute/adulteress is non-existent in the original Aramaic new testament. this verse is presumably added into the greek/latin version by the roman politicians-turned-priests as part of a grand plan to deceive what is now called the christian and catholic believers into their lawless, 100% grace, 100% mercy, once save always saved doctrine and theologies. Catholics and christians are blind sheep who have been misled for the last 2000+ years....

    Nazarene Ken

  13. Leave the kid alone laa...and he WAS a kid..18 years, barely a few months into adulthood.

    This IS NOT a case of a lecherous older predator taking advantage of an underaged girl.

  14. There is actually a link in terms of jurisprudence back to the Anwar Ibrahim case.
    Likewise with statutory rape, there is no such thing as "Consensual Sodomy" in Malaysin law. Whether he complainant willingly submitted to the act is irrelevant to the case.
    If the act occurred, the court must return a guilty finding and punish the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law.

  15. Statutory rape is statutory rape.What is there to say.Ask the fucking judge to let his underaged daughter or grand daughter to get fucked and see what he says.Stupid mother fucking pig.

  16. UMNO's last, final trump card for GE13 is the tag team with MCA to force a wedge between PAS and DAP to precipitate a collapse of Pakatan Rakyat.
    I hope Karpal Singh and like-minded people like Ktemoc don't walk right into he UMNO-set trap.

  17. Religions were the biggest con-jobs in human history.
    If God(s) is/are there, why can't he/she/they just appear and rumble on the horizon saying "peole , I am here , I am real, believe in me or else...", then start throwing some thunderbolts ...rather than relying on some mortals to slit each other throats to propagate the respective religions.

  18. "If God(s) is/are there, why can't he/she/they just appear...."---Anon

    What? cut out the middleman ? Mana boleh lah, hahaha. There are middleman and there are middleman, but the Best of the Bestest is still the "go-between" holy men to facilitate 'transactions' between the teeming masses and THE ONE who created HIS creatures......these special middleman gets to interpret God's words and messages to pass 'down' to the masses/sheeps who would otherwise be completely bereft of hope and risk their 'souls' be damned to hell for eternity.

    More power to these men of the cloth. Which organisation could claim to kill more than any other but RELIGION ?


  20. What? Azmin phased out? Which little bird spread such unsubstantiated rumour? It will only be believed if he himself announced he is retiring NOW, not after GE13.

    Without Azmin hovering next to Anwar, it will be like cutting off Anwar's right hand...and ball.

  21. "Leave the kid alone laa...and he WAS a kid..18 years, barely a few months into adulthood.

    This IS NOT a case of a lecherous older predator taking advantage of an underaged girl."---Anon

    You better pray laa...when your 11 year old daughter 'consented' to sex with a 19 year old boy. Or may be you don't have a problem with this ? After all, at 19, the boy is just a kid laa and since both agreed to it, then it is 'consensual'? Great parenting laa.

  22. This is a civil and courteous response to COMETK:


  23. Peter J Leithart is a Christian minister, so naturally he would blog that, but religion (whether misused or otherwise) has caused more wars, sufferings and deaths than any other cause.

  24. Takbir Hallelujah10:50 am, August 23, 2012

    "religion (whether misused or otherwise) has caused more wars, sufferings and deaths than any other cause."

    The greatest, second greatest and third greatest spasms of killing in human history - World War 2, World War 1 and the 1930's Soviet liquidation of "kulaks", had nothing to do with religion.

    You don't have data, you just have prejudices.

  25. Ktemoc,

    Religion also dictates what you can or cannot do with your genitalia. It also tells people how to have sex - what they can do and what they cannot do. Yet religious leaders want people to have babies, lots and lots of babies!

    It's not hard to understand why. Religious leaders as well as politicians want people to reproduce as prolifically as possible because hopefully the babies will grow up to be supporters both as an individual and financially. This naturally gives the religious leaders and the politicians power - manpower and financial power. It always boils down to this - power and money.

  26. Takbir Hallelujah, there's no place on this Earth that has had recorded wars continuously for more than 3,500 years than that strip of land called The Holy Land. Even today, the wars continue on.

    I doubt, contrary to Christian belief, that Jesus will want to return to Earth's most blood-soaked land.

  27. Hehehehe...DAP and PKR will be having a divorce soon...


    Looks like Najib's strategy to let Parliament run its full course is going to pay dividends. It is very unlikely the unholy alliance of DAP/PAS/PKR will survive until the elections are called, either that or their grassroots will be reduced to non-cooperation even if the leaders put on a brave face.

    Podah-lah PKR - DAP - PAS

  28. Here is my follow-up post:

  29. Thanks Ramanathan, I appreciate and admire your very in-depth commentary very much, indeed as much as I did your TMI article.

    But even you would have to admit you're talking from a Christian point of view whilst I did so from that of an atheist. To paraphrase Kipling, 'Oh, religion is religion, and secularism is secularism, and never the twain shall meet'.

    I look forward to reading more of your articles in the local news media. Cheets

  30. Takbir Hallelujah8:24 pm, August 23, 2012

    "wars continuously for more than 3,500 years than that strip of land called The Holy Land"
    Your reading of history is faulty.

    Yes, the Jews were on the scene that long, but for most of the 3,500 years, the conflict in the region was primarily economic, resource-related and political, not religious.

    Palestine, Judea, whatever you care to call it, was a cockpit of wars primarily because it stood on unavoidable routes to and from major centres of fertile land - Egypt, Mesopotemia, hence civilisational centres. Many would-be conquerors trod the soil in Palestine.

    Religion became a major part of the picture only after Christianity and Islam decided that coexistence was not possible - from the First Crusades CE 1096 onwards.

    The Jews ceased to be a military factor in Palestine after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in CE 70 until the advent of serious Zionism in the 1930's.

    Even today, the Israeli-Arab conflict is as much an economic, land and water resource conflict as any religious element.

  31. Takbir Hallelujah, good one and I must admit not all wars there were purely of a religious nature. Even the crusades possessed secular avaricious intent. But underlying or mixed up with most wars there were/are religious themes. Today's continuous warring between Israel and Hamas or Hezbollah is heavily influenced by religious themes, for example, the Israeli religious desire to regain their biblical Judea and Samaria, their settlers insistence on stealing Palestinian land on the basis of those land having some biblical relevance to Judaism, and vice versa (Al Aqsa mosque vs the proposed 3rd Temple, etc). I accept that there are non-religious issues involved, but I opine most of these issues remain subjects of irreconcilable acrimony because of the religious differences.

  32. additional point to your "Religion became a major part of the picture only after Christianity and Islam decided that coexistence was not possible"

    I disagree - if we were to accept that the incidents in the OT (not the theological aspects but as a historical rendition of events but without concrete provenance) then the Hebraic-Israelite invasion of Canaan and their genocidal massacres of the locals could be considered as religious wars waged on their belief in YWVH's (or some priests) divine instructions - long before Christianity and Islam came on the scene as spinoffs from Judaism