The decision by an Islamic court to impose a fine and caning to a Malaysian model for the crime of having a beer has shocked many people in the nation. Malaysia is a multicultural nation although a majority of its inhabitants are Muslim and this has resulted in creating a Sharia court system alongside the civil courts. Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno will receive six strokes because she consumed alcohol in eastern Pahang state last year. Amnesty International Malaysia executive director, Nora Murat made clear “the punishment of whipping is defined as torture and hence we should not in any way condone it. This is the wrong way to educate anyone about religion. When the sin is between her and God, there is always an option of being repentant. It’s up to God to decide on her faith, and not people.”
Islamic Mufti Harussani Zakaria responded the punishment was lenient and it “was meted out on her just to shame and educate her.” I gather there are Muslim clerics who actually believe a few strokes will end consumption of alcohol. We suggest they read a book about Prohibition in America to learn the idiocy of such a line of reasoning. If the goal is ending alcoholism, strokes of a cane do more to further this form of behavior than any other line of punishment. Perhaps, an education program might be a bit more successful.
P.S. How many Malaysian men have been caned due to drinking alcohol?