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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Syariah Caning ~ What the British public say about it?

'We deserved our punishment': What three Muslim Malaysian women said after being caned for having sex outside marriage'

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 2:34 AM on 20th February 2010

Three Muslim women who were the first in Malaysia to be caned for having sex outside marraige this morning claimed the punishment was an opportunity for them to repent.

Prison authorities caned the women last week after an Islamic Shariah court issued the penalty.

The caning has outraged rights groups and revived speculation that conservative Islamists, who advocate harsh punishment, are gaining influence in the country.

The three women, aged 17-25, said they turned themselves in after feeling guilty for sleeping with their boyfriends before marriage and getting pregnant.

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Malaysian justice: Prison staff demonstrate to the media how the caning process was done at the Kajang prison outside Kuala Lumpur

The 17-year-old told reporters that she surrendered to Islamic authorities after her prematurely born child died.

She is now serving a six-month prison sentence.

'I know I have sinned, and I have to be punished. Strangely however, I felt that the caning was not a form of punishment but was an opportunity for me to repent and return to the right path,' she said.

She has already married her boyfriend, who has also been caned and jailed over the offence.

The other women, who have one young child each, are planning to marry their partners after they are released.

The men were also caned for having sex.

One woman, aged 25, said she was scared before the caning but knew she deserved the punishment.

All three women called on others not to make the same mistake and abstain from sex before marriage.

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Journalists interview three women who were caned for having sex out of wedlock, at a prison in Kajang . They are first to be caned under the country's Islamic laws

A Prison Department official confirmed the women's comments, made at a news conference at the women's prison outside Kuala Lumpur to local, government-linked media under the watch of authorities.

He said they were reluctant to speak to other media.

It could not be confirmed whether they were speaking voluntarily.

A request with the department for interviews is pending.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin defended the caning this morning, saying it was 'far lighter' than what some people might imagine.

'The punishment is legitimate and in accordance with the law,' Muhyiddin said.

Human rights groups have slammed the caning, saying it is a cruel and degrading punishment and discriminates against Muslim women because Malaysian civil law - which applies to non-Muslims - bans the caning of women.

The women, who were fully clothed and sitting on a stool, received between four and six strokes with a thin rattan stick on the back, lasting a few minutes.

Another woman, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, is still waiting to be caned for drinking beer in public.

Her case received international attention last year when she became the first woman slated to receive a caning penalty.

But the punishment was deferred indefinitely amid a public outcry.

Caning of men for such offenses as rape, drug smuggling and staying illegally in the country is common.

It is administered with a thick rattan stick on bare buttocks, causing severe pain and leaving scars.

Malaysia has a two-tier justice system.

Shariah courts deal with personal matters for Muslims, who account for about two-thirds of the country's 28 million people, while non-Muslims - many of whom are ethnic Chinese and Indians - go to civil courts.

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Although it's a little cruel that this story has hit world news, sometimes it pays to give children a spank now & then. It makes them realise that they should not say or do certain things. My parents/grandparents gave us the odd spank for misbehaviour during our childhood. We thought they were cruel then, but have realised why they did so as we grew up.

You have to be cruel to be kind these days, but unfortunately parents here are not given that freedom to correct their children. No wonder we have so many yobs, teenage pregnancies etc. in society. Such kids probably never had parental training during their childhood. They don't know difference between right & wrong.

Click to rate Rating 89

As long as the law is applied equally to men and women, and no SERIOUS injury (or death) occurs, i do not see what the problem is. Sharia Law is based on religion. If you follow that religion you submit yourself to the laws of that religion. Although less extreme, Catholics who sin, are given Hail Mary's, etc

If you don't wish to adhere to the laws and it's punishments, you don't follow the religion.

Click to rate Rating 169

They are the rules that apply there. Harsh? Yes they are harsh but it appears to work.

Unlike the UK where we punish everyone else when young girls get pregnant. We might not get beaten by sticks but even that might be preferable to all that furnished accommodation we must help pay for over the years.

Social Security in Britain costs around 150 Billion which is more than the current Government tax receipts.

Tell you what : I will take 6 of the best for a reduction in my tax.

Click to rate Rating 194

Pity Islam doesn't apply the same rules to its men. All the onus for sexual morality is on the women. Hypocrisy.

Click to rate Rating 169

Sorry, I missed this line:
"The men were also caned for having sex." Which was hidden in a long article about the outrage of 3 women been punished. But they are men, who cares? Right?

Click to rate Rating 221

Let them get on with their way of life.When in Rome ie a Muslim country abide by their laws. Other religions should not be persecuted by this Sharia law. But do not bring this type of law into England.

Click to rate Rating 260

If the rules are clear, everyone knows what the punishment will be, and everyone receives a fair and honest trial, I don't see what the problem with this could possibly be.

It's no different to the call for the return of the death penalty here - if you cannot accept the punishment, don't commit the offense!

Can I ask;- do the Islamic men also get caned when they are found guilty of extra marital treats? I guess not. Funny old religion isn't it !
- AP Winterton, Solihull , England, 19/2/2010 11:27
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You obviously didnt read the article. The male participants were indeed flogged as well. In general, if a man and woman engage in extra or pre-marital sex, both parties are punished.

I don't know why so many people are criticizing this? Each to his own I say. Anyway the sex-obsessed British would not understand about a country where chastity is encouraged and bed-hopping is not considered a national sport. The level of promiscuity in the UK has reached appalling levels, we could learn a thing or two about not being at it all the time. Young women in the UK fear no one and nothing thats why they start dropping their knickers at the age of 12 and what's sad is that most adults seem to encourage it.

Who are we in Britain to comment? We really need to stop commenting about other country's laws when we are incapable of effectively running our own country with any degree of success.

Look around you and see the problems we have with violence, teen pregnancies and the benefit culture. Please also read the whole article before commenting.

The men involved were also caned and imprisoned so its not a gender-based issue. If Malaysians have a problem with this then it is for them to deal with, not us.

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