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Brunei: Death Penalty For Homosexuals Under Expanding Sharia Law

Brunei, a small nation on the island of Borneo, now has law in place requiring the stoning to death of homosexuals.

This is the latest development since it was announced back in 2014 that the nation was enacting Sharia law, traditional Islamic law that draws upon the Quran and the Hadith.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's plan for Sharia law has been rolled out in stages since it was first adopted.

The new laws that go in to effect Wednesday of this week include death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers, and the amputation of limbs for those who steal. To be more specific, homosexual men will be stoned to death, while homosexual women will receive 100 lashes.

In a public address he made on Wednesday, 72-year-old Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said, "I want to see Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger."

Human Rights Watch described the new laws as "barbaric to the core" and urged the sultan to "immediately suspend amputations, stoning, and all other rights-abusing provisions and punishments."

Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, said the new laws "mark a serious setback for human rights protections for the people of Brunei."

Several celebrities such as George Clooney, Elton John, and Richard Branson have also vocally criticized the new laws. Clooney called for a boycott of nine hotels connected to Brunei's government.

Several groups have been trying to understand the motives behind Sultan Bolkiah's barbaric plans. Matthew Woolfe, founder of human rights group The Brunei Project, has one idea. He said it could be linked to Brunei's weakening economy.

"One theory is that it is a way for the government to strengthen its hold on power in the face of a declining economy that could potentially lead to some unrest in future," Woolfe told the BBC.

"Connected to this is [Brunei's] interest in attracting more investment from the Muslim world, along with more Islamic tourists… this could be seen as one way of appealing to this market."

Brunei, although a very small country, has reaped the benefits of its oil and gas deposits. About 90% of Brunei's GDP comes from crude oil and natural gas production. This may be a part of the sultan's plans to diversify their economy by bringing in more money from nearby Muslim countries.

Whatever the reason for the sultan's cruel plans, the people of his country will be the ones to suffer. These medieval, maniacal laws based on Sharia, based on Islamic teaching, are showing us all the dangers of giving theocratic lunatics control of government.

#Islam #politics

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