Thursday, November 21, 2013

To hudud, or not to hudud?

... that is the question.

The above is a paraphrased quote from a soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep

It supposedly asks 'why live?'.

But today, in Malaysian politics, many are asking 'why hudud?', when there are so many more important issues to resolve, like the economy, pockets of poverty, corruption, injustice, racism etc.

Hudud of course is the Islamic system of punishments for certain crimes, a legal code which PAS has been pushing so fervently for years and especially now.

To a Muslim, the issue of hudud is sacrosanct as divine law, meaning it comes directly from the will (or intent) of Allah swt, which by its very divine nature is independent of man-made law.

It is NOT unique to Islam as Christianity also has its divine law, as revealed by the Bible, which are necessary to be obeyed for the salvation of men.

punishment for violating any commandment was death

but I like Deuteronomy 25:11-12 which tells us:
“When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity."


However, the West has, from its terrible experience with its Christian clerics, long since moved towards the separation of state from church, where states abide by civil or secular laws. Likewise, the successors of former theocratic states such as the former (ancient) Judaist Israeli Kingdom and not so ancient Buddhist Tibet have both developed into (or in the case of Tibet, become part of) modern states ruled by secular laws.

But to a devoted PAS member, it's not just that hudud is sacrosanct divine law, but that there is NO other issues more important than it, and to f**ks with mere earthly and secular issues such as economy, pockets of poverty, corruption, injustice, racism, etc.

Even a non-PAS Muslim like Ku Li treads warily when he mentioned hudud, not daring to openly dismiss it. A few days ago, he cautiously said: "As a Muslim I support the implementation of Hudud. Ironically, under the Federal Constitution, all states have no power in matters relating to crime."

He 'advised' (wakakaka) PAS that because existing laws relating to crimes and punishment come under the federal government’s jurisdiction, PAS should consider this before pushing hard for the implementation of hudud.

In other words, which he would never openly own and which kaytee is admittedly taking blogger's licence to only speculate (wakakaka), he is not in favour of the implementation of hudud, well, at least not for now.

Given this, would it be fair to expect Anwar Ibrahim, a Muslim, to come out with a firm opinion on the matter? As a Muslim he wouldn't dare or wouldn't want to openly object to the implementation of hudud, but as a politician who is pragmatic enough to realize he's dependent on non-Muslim votes, needless to say he prefers to avoid the issue.

guess PAS' Erdogen faction is in a similar position to Anwar Ibrahim, also worried by the party ulama faction's aggressive and arrogant push for the implementation of hudud.

It's not that the Erdogens don't want hudud but I suspect they've planned to raise the issue only after the party has done well enough in the next election (since they didn't in May 2013 other than in Kelantan and Selangor).

They must be silently cursing the ulamas for being arrogantly outspoken where non-Muslim support is likely to swing away from the Islamic party. And that's why UMNO is gleefully taunting PAS everyday, in particular the ulama faction who is seen to be more malleable by the issue of hudud towards 'Muslim unity'.

I guess there would only be a couple of national leaders who might venture frank opinions, namely, wakakaka, Dr Mahathir (and even then, when it suits him, wakakaka) and Zaid Ibrahim.

Before we dig around in our political landscape, let's examine in brief what hudud is about, at least in its practical terms as it would/might affect (benignly or otherwise) the lives of Malaysians.

Under hudud, punishment for certain crimes are fixed, supposedly as 'claims of god' where these include (from Wikipedia):

  • Theft (Sariqa, السرقة)
  • Highway robbery (Qat' al-Tariq, قطع الطريق)
  • Illegal sexual intercourse (Zina', الزنا)
  • False accusation of zina (Qadhf, لقذف)
  • Drinking alcohol (Shurb al-Khamr, شرب الخمر)
  • Apostasy (Irtidād or Ridda, ارتداد أو ردّه) includes blasphemy (unlike the five offenses listed above, not all jurists consider apostasy to be a hudud offense)

... but bizarrely not murder.

But wait, maybe it's not so bizarre after all, no, at least not to this non-Muslim, wakakaka.

Okay, this is purely kaytee's reasoning, in simplified terms - In those days, the issue of murder or killing in a warlike land where desert warriors were always fighting over rights or honour, or wakakaka just for the fun of it, it was thus not so strange that the crime of murder, while still a crime, was (and is) relatively pretty mundane enough that it could be resolved with blood money, and therefore needn't be punished under hudud which was non-negotiable nor flexible. 

If we leave aside apostasy (which in those early days of Islam, would be akin to treason and therefore unforgivable as it is today, whether in Saudi Arabia, Israel or the USA), the crimes falling under the purview of hudud, as listed above, have to do with, directly or indirectly, property, as follows:

  • Theft - stealing someone's property? Chop hands off then,
  • Highway robbery - hey man, this is worse than stealing, so ...
  • Illegal sexual intercourse - f**king someone's wife (property) - but both f**kers would be in deep shit,
  • False accusation of zina
  • Drinking alcohol - a drunk could even f**k his own mother or sister (someone's property)

Drinking alcohol which can lead to heedlessness and abominable crimes as just mentioned is not only the concerns of Islam but that of other religions, like Buddhism.

In Buddhism's pancasila (five precepts), the fifth states:

Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

which means: I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to heedlessness (or carelessness).

The difference between Islam's prohibition of imbibing alcohol (unless for necessary medication) and Buddhism's 5th pancasila is that the former is a divine law and must be obeyed whilst the latter is only a maxim or principle or a voluntary rule of conduct.

Anyway, returning to my non-Muslim observations that while murder in a land of warring anak jantan jaguh could possibly be resolved by way of blood money, stealing other people's property including bonking their women-property (wives, daughters, sisters, even mothers) was a dreadful crime and has to be punished seriously, with flogging, amputation, decapitation, stoning to death and crucifixion (now, where did this come from - the Romans?)

This value system was obviously from a time of warring tribes and their tribal property. 

I remember seeing the movie 'Lawrence of Arabia' in which a scene showed Sherif Ali (played by then leng chai Omar Sharif) shot dead a Bedouin just for drinking from a well owned by Sherif Ali's tribe, to the horror of T.E. Lawrence.

hey, you think Maximus Ongkili will want to hire me as consultant for Syabas? I'll sort out Selangor Pakatan kau kau


While no doubt the movie fictionalized a number of scenes, the one just mentioned (fiction or otherwise) portrayed the value-system of the region about property, even until today.

It's not much different from the biblical (Israelite) Commandments, supposedly from their god, such as:

  • No 7 -Thou shalt not commit adultery

    with someone's property, which God's beloved King David did and not only that but also had her hubby killed thus breaking Commandments No 6, 8 and 10 as well, but he was still touted as God's beloved, coincidentally by his supporters from the House of Judah, wakakaka)
  • No 8 - Thou shalt not steal
  • No 10 - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, his manservant, his maid servant, his horse, his ass*, or anything that is thy neighbour's

* equus asinis (a donkey-like creature), and not what you think, wakakaka

just what were you thinking eh?

Value-system of those days notwithstanding, as a non-Muslim, I of course don't share the same reverence as a Muslim for the sacrosanctity of hudud, but I'm more concerned that earlier period value system may not be completely applicable in today's world.

Right at the very top of the punishment scale, I don't support death sentence even for the most vile murderer because I am against the murder of a person by a state (which is still a bloody murder) and also mindful that a death sentence once carried out is irreversible.

This is terrifying because there have been known cases (in the USA) where innocent people were sent to the gallows based on shoddy evidence, fabrications, 'interests' and worse, prejudice.

If one is religious which BTW I'm not, wakakaka, then one should leave drastic decisions such as taking a person's life to god, and most certainly not to man (backed by state laws or not).

Killing someone, even with/as a legal excuse, is barbaric, murderous and for those religious, an usurpation of god's prerogative. And none have been so barbaric in this modern world as China, India, Russia, several Middle-Eastern nations and calamity oh calamity, SE Asian nations and of course that biggest hypocrite of all, the USA, where capital punishment is still very much part of its criminal justice system.

Last year the Islamic states of Iran executed murdered 1663 people, Saudi Arabia 423, Iraq 256, Pakistan 171, Yemen 152, all of which exceeded even the draconian dictatorship of North Korea where those murdered by its state executions numbered 105.

Obviously hudud in those Islamic nations hasn't done much to quell crimes, or if it has, then those executed were not criminals.

But I'm glad to see that in SE Asia, Singapore has loosened up its tight-assed self-moralizing act by sparing two drug mules from the gallows. It's time also for Malaysia to do away with capital punishment once and for all, and emerge as a modern civilized nation.

Other hudud punishments like chopping off limbs etc are also irreversible actions which encourage non-transparency of the justice system because if a mistake had been made, the authorities would never admit to that and invariably would cover up, especially if the punishment had been an execution.

look at those ghouls in the background

I've read that under hudud, in cases of adultery a woman's pregnancy could be evidence of that crime. What happens when a woman has been the raped victim and then becomes pregnant?

I recall in Saudi Arabia, a Shia woman reported she was raped and, hello hello, was then jailed. The 2007 story was that a 19-year-old rape victim (18 at the time of the rape), was sentenced to 90 lashes for having been in a car with a man who was not a relative but who had a photo of her when she was 16. She wanted the photo back because she was by then married.

No, it was not that man who raped her but seven other men who waylaid them. Both were abducted and sexually assaulted by the rapists. Did that mean the man was sodomized? Hey, it was Saudi Arabia after all!

She appealed and the Saudi Higher Judicial Council granted a retrial, but because of allegedly
the ensuing publicity during her appeal (which of course she lost), the court increased her sentence to six months in jail and 200 lashes.

Now, how in the f**ks was she guilty of the ensuing publicity? It would seem those clerics had misused the laws of god vindictively and maliciously rather than justly.

caning is bad enough but flogging ...?

The judges said they decided to punish the woman further for "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media." Indeed. 

Now this was the most notorious part about the rape trial - The court argued it was the girl's fault in the first place that she was raped and that the rape would have happened if she had not met up with the non-related male friend.

Remember, Saudi Arabia was the land of Prophet Mohammad pbuh, but hey, don’t blame the laws of Allah swt because that court in supposedly dispensing out justice in accordance with those divine laws, and yet making misogynist remarks not unlike those of Abdul Fatah Harun, PAS former MP for Rantau Panjang, who in Parliament in 2006 said 
“If we see women who don’t have husbands and are divorced not because their husbands are dead, (it must be because) they are ‘gatal sikit’”, were only mortal men, and most assuredly not in a zillion years ever exercising or executing the true laws of Allah swt. 

And that's precisely my worries about syariah law, more so hudud, when such clerics would be unquestionable, unchallengeable and totally unaccountable, on the basis they spoke for god.

Oh, incidentally, the victim belonged to Saudi Arabia's minority Shiite community, while the rapists were Sunni. Does that help explain? Obviously syariah laws did not prevent discrimination.

apparently a rape conviction carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, but the court did not impose it for those seven Sunni pseudo-warriors because, according to the amazing court, there was the "lack of witnesses" (wakakaka) and the "absence of confessions." Of course, wakakaka.

On second thoughts, maybe I won't be so wakakaka-ish if that scene was transposed into a Malaysian scene. Indeed, the courts' ruling was unbelievably abysmal and shameful, but then who dared to question those clerics?

The victim's husband told Arab News they would appeal (against the increased sentence?), but the court warned that the sentence could be increased if she lost the appeal again.

Amazing, isn't it, that "the sentence could be increased if she loses the appeal", meaning …?

So much for the Saudi syariah legal system.

For more, read my post Rape victim fights Saudi syariah 200-lashing verdict.

Incidentally, in medieval times, the Chinese (in China lah, wakakaka) didn't stone an adulterous woman but killed her by drowning - lots of rivers in China as different from Saudi Arabia where there were/are few rivers but lots of stones.

The unfortunate adulterer would be stuffed into a bamboo pig's cage which was weighed down with stones, and the whole apparatus thrown into the nearest river.

from the horror movie 'Blood stained shoes'

I know some (though not all) Chinese men who had been cuckold-ed would like to have that system back in use but wakakaka, alas for them, the China of today doesn't condone such a medieval cruel practice.

But I've to reiterate my greatest concern about PAS proposed hudud system, that it will not be administered by Allah swt Himself, but that ... it was, has been, is and will be administered by 'man' with all his inherent weakness, prejudice, failings and self interests. And there is no man more to be mistrusted than a priest - don't believe me, ask Raja Sherina, wakakaka.

Moving from China to Europe where in medieval times, innocent people were burned at the stake and drowned in the local village pond in the name of the Christian god.

For example, in the latter form of punishment, the Christian argument then was that if the person survived the drowning he/she must then be an agent of Satan and would therefore be burned at the stake - anyone targeted by the clerics couldn't escape lah, wakakaka - they would get you one way or another.

However, if the unfortunate person drowned, he/she was innocent, Hallelujah, and his/her soul was 'saved' though he/she was by then bloody f**king dead. You can bet the accused, after drowning, were all pronounced innocent and safely in the arms of His Merciful Lord God. As I mentioned, anyone targeted by the clerics couldn't escape, wakakaka.

But thank god the secular state, those Christian trials by ordeal were of medieval vintage.

Thus today, leaving the justice and its punishment systems in the hands of unquestionable, unchallengeable and unaccountable priests, monks, and mullahs would produce the most frightening unjust system, one of perpetual terror. There's no doubt such a system in the past was and today will again be exploited by unscrupulous clerics to 'finish' off targeted persons, all in the name of god.

Look matey, if any cleric were to claim to you he speaks with the voice of god, let him prove beyond reasonable doubts that is so, assuming of course he hasn't in the name of god already burned you at the stake, drowned you in the village pond or stoned you to death for questioning unquestionable him.

However, there may be a glimpse of saving grace in the divine laws, as it can (supposedly) change with change in human perception through new revelations.

But I have no confidence that our clerics will ever support that 'new revelations' - for example, just look at the relatively smaller issue of the current Allah-word controversy where the people behind The [Catholic] Herald still insist on using the word on the argument it was used (and written into the al Kitab) by 16th Century Dutch Christian missionaries and thus 'cannot be changed'.

So, if the correct use or sinister misuse of a word some 400 years ago cannot be changed today when most of those users would be long gone by now, how do we expect our mullahs to be able or to want to change and update a set of laws with a 1400 year old pedigree?

This will be the challenge for Pakatan Rakyat, a challenge which has delighted UMNO and worried DAP. I'm not sure how DAP is handling this? But remaining silent won't be helpful, for don't forget both MCA and Anwar Ibrahim had already demonstrated this during Dr Mahathir's time, that silence means consent.

And I'm saying this as a person who has been supportive of DAP, so it tells you of my personal concerns about PAS' hudud vis-a-vis an UMNO which is already preparing for the next general election.

While there is no doubting the fervent wish of PAS members to turn Malaysia into a total Islamic state, all complete with the hudud system, the current beating of the drums by PAS is no doubt more related to its party election this weekend.

And this is most disappointing of all because in the final analysis, PAS is no better than UMNO in playing the hardline conservative game to show its party members which party candidate is more Islamic-ly jaguh and thus to be elected.

Read also my post Theocratic 3 P's - prohibit, persecute & punish


  1. There is no Muslim politician who can openly say they oppose Hudud. it would be political suicide. Not Pas , not Umno, not Pkr, heck not Dap either. The fact is, if you are a true Muslim, you have to support Hudud. The best you can hope for from 'liberal' types is saying implementation requires a consensus of all communities in Malaysia, or the country is 'not ready'. The usual political blah-blah.
    Yes, I am a Muslim , and I support Hudud, but I'm sure we need a consensus in the country to implement it... Wakaka

    1. and are you a politician, wakakaka - you'd make a good one too ;-)

  2. God is here & He is silent. Barring the religious crack-heads that "hear" Him every other day, He is here & He is silent. Our presumption is that He left the sacred text to human kind (in whatever form for the purpose of this discussion), like a guide book (not try to be irreligious & profane here) where we can follow the "do's" & "do not's" and the consequences of those action... Then He left us.. man to his own devices & others to bring the rest into the right path...

    We therefore, presume that there is no longer a need for divine intervention or personal relationship with the Divine since we have a so-called "manual" to follow.

    There is a reason for the church to evolve over centuries with warts and all to finally realize the division between state & church/or religion. There is also reason to understand the fallen nature of man & that even we can have unfair judgements and justice meted out (just like a guy screwing up assembling his new hi-fi set even with a manual & diagrams given).

    The way we act, do we really believe that He is here or we really need to act everything out by ourselves since He is no longer here?

    Time to shut up.....

  3. alcohol drinking is a sin and not a crime. some ulamak (not in malaysia of course) claimed that intoxicants like alcohol is not prohibited but only discouraged. just compare the following two verses;
    1. "They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, "In them there is a gross "ithm" (sin), and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit." 2:219
    2. " O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, altars and arrows of chance are afflictions which are the work of the devil; you shall stay away from him, that you may succeed". 5:90

    and this verse; “He has forbidden you only dead animals, and blood, and the swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than God.” 2:173

    bear in mind that words of allah are consistent & precise. so, one doesn't need to drink alcohol to f**k own mother or sister. if a drunkard did that then rape is the crime & not the drinking. these prople can't even distinguish sin from crime. if alcohol drinking and gambling are interpreted as criminal offence, then why not also include consumption of pork and hijab? what kind of hudud is this?

    "I've read that under hudud, in cases of adultery a woman's pregnancy could be evidence of that crime"

    my question: the mother of isa who was a jew kena hukum rejam? cheers!

    1. Pak Yusuf came to her rescue by claiming to be the father, so all halal ler

  4. Shariah Criminal Offence (Hudud and Qisas) Enactment 2002.
    Section 44. Qualification to be a witness.

    (1) Each witness shall be an adult male Muslim who is mukallaf, and shall be a person who is just.

    (2) A person shall be considered just if he does what is required of him by Islam and avoids committing great sins and does not continuously commit lesser sins and further has isti'malal-muruah (a sense of honour).

    (3) A person shall be deemed to be just, until the contrary is proved.

    In view of the above, can a non-Muslim rape victim get justice when she can only produce non-Muslim or female Muslim witnesses ?

    1. It's a value system of earlier times, within a wholly Muslim environment

    2. Is Hudud going to be applied to non-Muslims ?

  5. It's extremely fucking strange that you want to be humane to murderers but dictating to malaysians using of such words. Such a fucking hypocrite. When do you learn to respect other people rights. So what's so different between you & the fucking ulamaks

    1. pray (wakakaka) tell me how I've been hypocritical?

    2. Again give up dictating christian brethens especially east malaysia the usage of Allah as God. Stop it before these dayakan would have fun time in chopping your heads

      Even PAS & muslim folks are extremely fearful of the dayakans

  6. Kaytee,
    However, I am supportive of DAP put a rein on PAS. Else, kaytee may got to forget about sucettes & monty python.......Hahahaha

  7. For your fucking viewing pleasure........The Effing show

  8. Religion is NOT the problem here, since it's a mean for a compassion-desolate being to search peace in time of his/her destitution.

    The 'self-righteousness' followers of a religion ARE the f**king problem. That mean people themselves!

    A small number of religious followers is NOT a problem. The problem explodes when a large number of such followers wants to impose their believes onto the others. Might is right - so to speak, especially when these blur-sotongs think that they r the righteous one, with the support of a silent super-being.

    Many other religion followers have outgrow this phase of evolution in their continue search for answers to the problems they faced each & every other days. Thus many of them NOW have a VERY clear distinction about the role of religion vis-a-vis state governing.

    Muslims r just DIFFERENCE! Most of them come from poor, uneducated, un-informed authoritarian & feudalistic conditioned environment.

    On top of all that, once u r born a Muslim, u r Muslim for life. Apostasy is a punishable sin! This choice-less firm definition forces a lot of born Muslim to look inwards to the Quran for answer. The presence of the numerous Hadiths r not helpful, since many of these so called spoken words of Prophet Mohd r of spurious origin & in some cases contradicting the sayings of Quran itself.

    Islam suddenly becomes their way out, partly due to Ayatollah Khomeini’s success in bringing down the Shah of Iran in the 70s. This re-invigoration of Islam brought a new meaning to those desolated Muslims, Suddenly answers seemed to have come out from their old Islamic teaching. So much so that they r willingly throwing away their years of sopo-economical development to the drain & revert back to the practices of the medieval ages where the Shah (for whatever of his atrocities) fought so hard to banish from their culture.

    Look at Iran NOW.

    It’s claimed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world now. Hiding behind this fact, is most of the new followers r of poor, uneducated, un-informed authoritarian & feudalistic conditioned environment. Even in USA, most of them r the Black, who on top of what been mentioned, has grown a new tendency to move away from Judeo-Christianity believes, as to their mind, that believes had part to play in their sufferings as reflected in the OLD South, which is strongly Christian & yet allow slavery. Islam has NO such historical linkage in USA, even though in Islam slavery is allowed throughout their propagation!

    There is also a death catch with Islam, as Prophet Mohd is THE LAST of the messiah. NO one comes after him! This absolute dogma makes a new interpretation of the Islam THAT much difficult.
    So back to the question of ‘To hudud, or not to hudud?
    The answer lies with the Muslim themselves.
    Perhaps it’s right to end with what RPK’s take of what Islam needs now is a Martin Luther equivalent now to update the Islamic version from Abrahamic V1.2 to V1.3. One thing for sure, more blood would spill before an acceptable answer would arise.

  9. "But today, in Malaysian politics, many are asking 'why hudud?', when there are so many more important issues to resolve, like the economy, pockets of poverty, corruption, injustice, racism etc."

    As a Muslim, I can agree on this.

  10. Sorry - a minor mistake;

    ' update the Islamic version from Abrahamic V1.2 to V1.3.'

    should read as;

    ' update the Islamic version from Abrahamic V1.3 to V1.31.'

    This is to comply with my earlier takes of evolution of Abrahimic faith (V1.0), Judaism (V1.1), Christianity (V1.2) with Catholicism (V1.21) & Lutheran (V1.22) & so on. Islam is (V1.3) with Sunni (V1.301) & Shiah (V1.302)

  11. Call me simple, but I judge people by what they do, nor what they say. Based on their actions, I would say Muslims are overall a rather nasty group.

  12. The desert is a stern, dangerous and unforgiving place, even today. People die in the desert if they are not careful.
    With scant resources to support life, the tendency to covet and take forcibly take what does not belong to you is strong. The laws and norms that desert communities deviced to regulate human behaviour are often equally stern and uncompromising.

    It is no accident that the Abrahamaic religions , all of which arose from the desert have severe, almost inhumane laws.
    Many of these laws are most unsuitable if applied in undiluted form in modern society, far from the ancient desert from which they came.

    Unfortunately, the Hudud proponents don't seem to understand the historical perspective.

  13. KT, you have written "....the correct use or sinister misuse of a word some 400 years ago cannot be changed today when most of those users would be long gone by now.....".
    Please be aware that the decendents and followers of those users who are long gone, are still using the word till now and they number by the millions. So, it is not so easy to change the use of the word as suggested by you.

    From your writings, I have opined that you are a fair-minded person but on this simple issue on the use of a word, I cannot fathom how you have doggedly blamed the Herald for insisting on using the word for their Malay speaking adherents. Of course, you have the absolute right to your opinion.

    By the way, some Muslims have made a police report against you for being "anti-Islam" in your earlier blogpost "Can sing but cannot read 'Allah' word in Selangor". They had reported that the picture of the big viking woman symbolised Satan probably because of the horns. What a joke. Luckily, you did not put the exact spelling of the word as otherwise you would indeed be in hot soup. Take care, my Penang Lang. Adam.