"Speak now or forever hold your peace in pieces."
For a rewritten and revised version of this article, read here: http://buff.ly/1hBVxd6
“Kalau kita cakap kita tidak boleh melaksanakan Hudud kerana ia tidak sesuai, ia merupakan syirik besar dan kita akan dicampakkan ke dalam neraka.”
Translation: “If we say Hudud law is not suitable in Malaysia, we are committing shirk and we will be thrown into Hell.”
Those were the words that made me cringe in the lecture hall during my 3 hour Islamic Studies class. It appalled me to know that some lecturers don’t teach you how to think, but rather, they teach what to think. With no explanation, no nothing, the ustaz that lectured the class just went on to tell everyone that if we don’t think Hudud can be applied to Malaysia, they were meant for Hellfire for sure. He didn’t even bother to understand why people did not agree to it. He merely just said whoever does not agree is “our enemy”.
As usual, people result to fear-mongering to get others on their side. I wonder when will they ever notice that the way they preach creates more apathy against Islam and fear of God within Muslims, instead of acceptance of Islam and love for God. I mean, how many of us can truly say we are doing something because we love God and not because we are afraid of Hell? Wallahualam.
See, a lot of Malaysians, especially the conservative Muslims, misunderstand when some Muslims disagree with the implementation of Hudud law in Malaysia. They think that we disagree with it, or even worse, disbelieve in God’s divinity. Most of the time, however, this is not the case. A lot of Muslims (me included) disagree with the implementation of Hudud law, not the law itself, because we don’t trust people, not because we don’t trust in Islam. We disagree in fear that God’s divine law will be manipulated by the evil, unjust, corrupted and tyrannical to achieve their own selfish agendas. We disagree in fear that it will taint the justice that it was supposed to serve. When a divine law is being handled by petty human beings like ourselves, injustice is bound to happen.
Many in favour of the implementation of the law will argue saying “It’s God’s law. We have to do it no matter what. It is the right thing to do and God will eventually show the way.” The simplest way to test this hypothesis is to look at other Muslim countries that abide by the Islamic criminal jurispudence and ask yourself, “How do they treat their women, children and minorities? Are they treated justly and fairly?” You’d find the answer to be a resounding “No”. Despite their status as an Islamic country, many states that implement Hudud law are listed some of the most corrupt states in the world. If this is not enough to show you the damage that can be done by implementing the law, I don’t know what will.
Despite Islam being the first religion to grant women and children rights and the oft-quoted statement “We are all equal in the eyes of God”, modern-day interpretations has been made in such a way that depicts men as more superior than women. With this fact in mind, it is important to note that Hudud law will most probably be used to favour men. This in itself is a contradiction to Hudud law and Islam’s aim for a just and equal society and has been revealed by the way many Islamic states run their country. Islam has been long misunderstood as a misogynistic and oppressive religion, thus enforcing a law that can easily be subjected to manipulation will only strengthen the stigma people have against Muslims.
A few months ago, I watched The Stoning Of Soraya M. This movie is a perfect depiction of how Hudud law has been used and manipulated for someone’s own selfishness and greed, and is based on a true story.
Ali, Soraya’s husband, concocted a lie against her, blaming her for infidelity. His purpose was to rid of his “inconvenient wife” just so that he can marry a 14-year-old girl who was the daughter of a rich doctor. He managed to get 3 people to play along with him, thus fulfilling the 4 witnesses rule needed to stone someone for infidelity. A particular line in the movie that has been stuck on my mind since, “When a woman accuses her husband of infidelity, she has to prove his guilt. When a man accuses his wife of infidelity, she has to prove her innocence.” This movie covers more than just Hudud law. It shows many more injustices practiced in Islamic states. But a post about this movie will be saved for a later time.
During the time of the Prophet, the harsh punishments of Hudud law were meant to deter people from committing crimes. But in this modern world, it can be seen as means to achieve selfish agendas. Back then, we had the Prophet to ensure justice was served, to supervise. But now? Malaysia is as corrupted as it is already with our current judiciary system, and people still want to implement a code of law that will most probably be manipulated and can cause more harm than we already have? And to top it all off, because Hudud law is a religious law, it “cannot be questioned” and thus, whatever the judge says, goes. No matter how unfair it may seem.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.
I trust in Islam. I don’t trust in people.
EDIT: Someone just told me, “Only those who did wrong should be afraid (of the harsh punishments).” This is not about those who did wrong anymore, but those who will be wronged. Soraya Manutchehri was an innocent and loyal housewife, but she was still stoned. It’s about wanting a safer environment for all. Soraya is only one of the many people stoned for the crimes they did not commit. It is important to note that rape statistics in Saudi Arabia, known as one of the most conservative Islamic states in the world, is also one of the highest. This is because many of the rape victims who report to the authorities are charged instead of their perpetrator, and are punished for illicit sex.
EDIT2: “As true believers, we have to make sure Hudud law happens. To those who were wronged, God will give justice to the innocent. Maybe not now, but he will.” Are we going to use this reason to stop poverty as well? As long as we have a voice, I believe in standing up for justice. Are we just going to let injustices happen, and just observe by the sidelines? Yes, God will always give justice to the innocent, but this does not mean we should not do anything.
EDIT3: “If someone is wrongly judged, that is the judge’s fault, not Hudud’s fault.” Yes, of course it is not Hudud’s fault. But that is enough to see the harm that misusing Hudud law can cause. Will you be able to redeem the wrongly accused once their arms have been cut off, or even worse, stoned to death? I had hoped that the unjust deaths that had been carried out under Hudud law would be a lesson to us all.
EDIT4: I’ve had people tell me that the only reason why I do not agree with the implementation of Hudud law is because I have “trust issues”, and then they go ahead and tell me that all laws can be manipulated. I would like to rewind them to what I have written above:
Malaysia is as corrupted as it is already with our current judiciary system, and people still want to implement a code of law that will most probably be manipulated and can cause more harm than we already have? And to top it all off, because Hudud law is a religious law, it “cannot be questioned” and thus, whatever the judge says, goes. No matter how unfair it may seem.
It may sound like having trust issues to you, but it’s just me being cautious. Yes, all laws can be manipulated and our judiciary isn’t as transparent as we’d like, but it does not take much to realize that Hudud law, due to its religious backing, is subjected to more harmful manipulation. This is evident in Middle Eastern countries. Please refer to EDIT3.