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RUU355 amendments inhumane — Azimah Rahim

FEBRUARY 14 — Come Saturday two opposing groups on the amendments to Rang Undang-Undang 355 (RUU355) will be laying down their “arms” for taking sides on this most important issue, the rushed Hadi Private Members Bill, which proposes to increase the maximum punishments for religious offences, from an imprisonment of 3 years to 30; 5 lashes of the rotan to 100 and a fine of RM5,000 to RM100,000, but which excludes the amputation of limbs and the death penalty.

My initial thought as a practicing Muslim was how inhumane, ludicrous, demeaning and highly unacceptable this proposal is and how it goes against the grain of what Islam is all about: justice, fairness and peace. I ask myself why anyone in their right mind would, especially an elderly and supposedly wise man who portrays himself as a devout Muslim, demand such travesty to befall his fellow Muslim folk?! Isn’t Islam forgiving?!

The Hadi Bill is voluminous but I would like to give an illustration to indicate the enormity of it and how divisive it has been crafted to be: a single Muslim woman is raped and to prove her innocence she has to produce four witnesses who are male, Muslim and who have to meet stringent criteria that has been specifically laid down. This is near impossible. So since these near perfect men cannot be produced she will have been deemed to commit adultery with no room for her testimony to be heard. According to Hadi she will receive 80 lashes of the rotan. She will be as dead as a doornail. This is not justice. Similarly, if a married Muslim woman is raped and the same befalls on her, she is to be stoned to death (as prescribed by the Torah not Quran). I hope Hadi is happy and all fathers of daughters and husbands of wives share the joy.

In another illustration, for the Muslim man who misses the Friday congregational prayers, Hadi demands he be imprisoned for 30 years. Oh joy! Deter by all means but not torture.

Hadi’s Bill is not what Islam is about but a paganistic interpretation of God’s law. Islam advocates moderation, reasonableness and proportionality not excessiveness nor sadism. If it truly is God’s law why then does the goalpost keep moving by man?!

When the Bill goes for its second reading in March, I appeal for all Members of Parliament (MPs) and not just those who profess the Islamic faith to actively participate in its voting which requires a simple majority to succeed. I urge MPs to read every word in the Bill, understand it and visualise the consequences and effects on all of their voters.  Do not vote blindly.

Stand by God’s law and oppose the Bill. Stand by the Bill and you oppose God’s law.  My MP is a non-Muslim. I urge MP Segambut to stay true to the Parliamentary oath and oppose the Bill on my behalf and those in his constituency as the amendments will directly and severely impact the young lives of our sons and daughters.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or organisation and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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