Malaysia commutes Islamic woman’s caning sentence

A Malaysian model who was sentenced last year to six strokes of a cane for drinking beer in public has had her sentence commuted, her lawyer said Thursday.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno will now instead be required to perform three weeks of community service — beginning Friday.

CNN World

At first blush, we here in the West have this knee jerk reaction to this story. For us, the idea of a woman being publicly beaten for a crime as minimal as having a beer seems barbaric. Right now, as you read this, millions of women in Western countries are drinking beer. And no one cares.

You can feel the outrage over this by simply reading the comments in this news story. Scores upon scores of people have voiced their displeasure, both at the idea of beating a woman for having a beer, and at Islam itself for condoning the practice.

And I will freely admit, at first, I agreed. My knee jerked. My fire was stoked. And I thought, “I have to blog about this travesty!!!!”.

As the day went on, and my head cooled, I took the time to speak to a few Muslim friends of mine. And my view has changed.

Seriously.

I began to see this, not so much in the light of “Islam is backwards” or “Islam oppresses women”…but more as “Wow…this lady fucking broke the law, knew she was breaking the law, and then expected to play upon the sympathy of those outside the law for forgiveness.”

The issue here is NOT Islam.

The issue here is NOT the gender of the offender.

The issue here is that the law exists. Has always existed. And she KNEW it. And knowingly broke it.

Its not like in her hometown Muslims could drink beer, but while visiting this other town she broke the law unknowingly. Its not legal to drink alcohol if you are a Muslim.

Ever.

Period.

Many ask, “Ok. If its against the law, then why even HAVE beer?”. Simple. Unlike the teetotalers of Prohibition, Muslims are not standing there, finger wagging saying “You cant drink that!” to non-Muslims. They are saying, “WE cant drink that.”, to fellow Muslims. Sharia law applies only to followers of Islam. So I, as a Christian, am free to have a cold brew when I stay in a Malaysian hotel.

One of the Muslim friends I spoke of earlier, told me that in his native Pakistan your identification is stamped with your religion. He said that just down the street from where he lived, there was a liquor store, and like here in the US, when you go to buy alcohol, you are required to show ID.

If you ID says “Muslim”, you cannot purchase alcohol.

If it says any other religion, you can purchase alcohol. Simple as that.

Seems pretty simple to me. Cut and dry.

If the beer was that important to her, she could have chosen apostasy (a whole other issue), given up Islam, and converted to any number of religions, and had a keg all to herself.

Or she could have waited until she was somewhere where it wasn’t against state law for Muslims to have a beer, and only worn the shame of the sin personally.

But she didnt.

She chose to remain a Muslim. In Malaysia.

And she chose to break a rule that Muslims hold dear, and that Malaysia has turned into state law.

So, Western ideals be damned, she should face the penalty given to Muslims for this offense.

Sound mean? Sound harsh?

Too fucking bad.

If a person or a group doesn’t like a law, or doesn’t agree with a law, they should work to get that law changed.

But, breaking the law, and then getting upset when the penalty is applied to you?

Thats just stupid.

WTFs Next
Sometimes you stand there and think, “WTF’s Next?” while looking at a situation or something on the news. And you’re left to point, fret, wonder and mull it over alone.

I instead choose to write all that crap down HERE and get it off my chest.

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