Friday, September 18, 2009

Ethnic Cleansing

As far as we're all concerned, Ethnic Cleansing is banned. Period.
But I can't help but ponder the reasons behind it being banned. Well, IIU does produce critical minded graduates no?
First of all, what do I mean by ethnic cleansing?
Basically, ethnic cleansing is the elimination of an unwanted group from a society, as by genocide or forced migration.
The phrase "ethnic cleansing" may embody just the opposite. Ethnic cleansing has been defined as "the elimination of an unwanted group from society, as by genocide or forced migration." This definition is inherently broader than that of genocide alone, and thereby encompasses mass killings and forced removals in far greater number and scope. The U.S. State Department, in a recent report on Kosovo, concluded that ethnic cleansing "generally entails the systematic and forced removal of members of an ethnic group from their communities to change the ethnic composition of a region." The latter definition, while accurate for that particular situation, is seemingly too narrow to be a useful descriptor of a majority of situations which are encompassed in the broader definition. Ethnic cleansing, then, may involve death or displacement, or any combination thereof, where a population is identified for removal from an area.
Determining what constitutes ethnic cleansing isn't really a problem.
The fact that it's a war crime and it goes against Chapter 7 of the UN Charter is no issue either. Every one is clear on that.
Is it because of the religion that particular race practices? Then which religion should be allowed to live? Is it because of skin color? Is the world really "spoilt" and "ruined" by any other shade of colour apart from WHITE? Is it because one particular group prefers same sex relationships? Who knew homosexuals can taint a society. Not that I'm saying the Quran allows it, I'm just saying, there are better tacts to dealing and helping homosexuals than to strictly condemn them.
Think of it this way, when one looks at those of a different group than they are but are good people, one is forced to question ethnic cleansing. Just because of a few bad apples, it doesn't mean the whole religion/race/etnicity/group is bad. Just because one Muslim believes jeans are illegal doesn't mean all Muslims are terrorists.
I see why ethnic cleansing is not allowed. If it were, we'd put an end to everyone, even the cherished gem kind of people, just because of their stereotyped group.

Monday, September 7, 2009


This is an article written by Hafiz Nassir, a law student at aikol. I think it's quite good. Oh I think it's important to note at this juncture that all articles written are the views of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the view of the society.

Some background info, Kartika is a muslim woman who was caught drinking beer in Malaysia. As this is an offence for muslims, she was sentence to 6 times canning. the issue arises is that it is her first offence and that it is the first time a woman is subjected to canning for that offence. What is interesting is that she herself has agreed to be canned and wants to serve as an example for other muslims. The reasons for this is partially explained in the article below. What has made this even more controversial is the fact that a lot of foreign groups have pressured the Malaysian Government to intervene.

enjoy. oh btw, silver = amir isyam. =p

Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution declares Islam as the religion of the federation. Over the years the provisions has given rise to multiple interpretations and endless argument strewn over judicial decisions, political discussion and so-on. As to the problematic question given, we need to discuss on the issues of objectives of punishment in islam and the effect of repentance in the enforcement in the criminal punishment in islam.
What is Khamr? The Arabic word khamr signifies any alcoholic drink which causes intoxication. We would be stating the obvious if we were to discuss the harmful effects of drinking on the individual's mind, his health, his religion, and his work; or if we discussed the disasters which he brings upon his family by neglecting their needs and by not fulfilling his obligations, as the head of the family, toward his wife and children; or if we elaborated on the spiritual, material, and moral evils which proliferate in societies and nations due to the widespread consumption of alcohol.
In the eyes of Islamic laws, drinking liquor or alcohol or khamr is clearly stated in Al-Quran as Haram. Even taken in small quantity, or when taken in great quantity is prohibited in Islam. The first declaration made by the Prophet (peace be him) concerning this matter was that not only is wine prohibited but that the definition of khamr extends to any substance which intoxicates, in whatever form or under whatever name it may appear. Thus, example, beer and similar drinks are haram.
The Prophet was once asked about certain drinks made from honey, corn, or barley by the process of fermenting them until they became alcoholic. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him), blessed as he was with the best of speech' replied succinctly, "Every intoxicant is khamr, and every khamr is haram." Reported by Muslim). And 'Umar declared from the pulpit of the Prophet, "Khamr is that which befogs the mind." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants, regardless of whether the amount is little or much. If an individual is permitted to take but a single step along this road, other steps follow; he starts walking and then running, and does not stop at any stage. This is why the Prophet (peace be on him) said, "Of that which intoxicates in a large amount, a small amount is haram." (Reported by Ahmad Abu Daoud, and al-Tirmidhi. ) And again, "If a bucketful intoxicates, a sip of it is haram." (Reported by Ahmad Abu Daoud, and al-Tirmidhi.)

Neither the Quran nor the Hadith invokes a penalty for alcohol consumption. The sin of consuming alcohol is described in the Quran in the mildest language of prohibition. When it comes to dietary laws, the Quran commands the believers in Surah 5:3: “forbidden (hurrimat) to you is the dead animal, loose blood, and the flesh of the pig.” Some legal scholars suggest that the divine command ijtinab, to avoid something, is milder language than tahrim, prohibition. A Muslim consuming a glass of wine with a pork chop commits a more serious offence in eating pork; yet as there is no Quran or Hadith penalty for consuming pork, there is also none for alcohol consumption.”
How did the punishment come about then? It occurred during the time of the second Caliph Umar b. al-Khattab. There was a companion of the Prophet (sahabi) who had fought on the Prophet’s side in his battles. A heavy drinker, he would walk the streets of Madina drunk at night and loudly shout scandalous things about people. The inhabitants of Madina complained, and Umar formed a committee to decide what to do.
“Imam Ali, based on the man having committed slander, suggested the penalty for slander, whose maximum penalty is 80 lashes. Since that time, this has been considered the maximum penalty for alcohol consumption, based on utilising the Syariah concept of ta`zir (deterrence).

All these clarify how weight the punishment to the person drinking liquor. Same goes to the Kartika problem, She was arrested and sentenced to a fine amounting to rm5000 and 6 lashes. She already paid out the sum. The issue here is the whipping sentence, which has been put to the limelight by the media. This issue is even famous rather than vogue September issue!.
First things first: there is a marked difference between caning under Syariah law and our Civil law. Under Civil law, women cannot be subjected to caning as a punishment for any offence. The position under Syariah Law is, however, different as women may be subjected to the punishment of caning. There is, however, a loophole or a lacuna here. This is because there has been no procedural guideline as to how a caning ought to be carried out under Syariah Law.
As such, when Kartika was sentenced to be caned, she had to be caned in accordance with our Civil Law. Whipping under civil law is, however, different from the Syariah concept of whipping for the consumption of alcohol (on the assumption that Syariah did in fact prescribe caning for this offence). Under Syariah, precedents have shown that the wrongdoer was hit with a slipper or a date palm branch. The punishment is designed to humiliate rather than to inflict untold pain. Under civil law, caning is done so harshly that even fearsome gangsters are known to plead not to be caned! The question is, are we going to impose on Kartika a punishment which is way heavier than that which was prescribed by Syariah Law. Again the issue arise, It has been published neither in international nor local newspapers that kartika has been remorseful and repented for her act she has done. However, it still open into debate and interpretation how far Kartika repented and will not do the act in future? And how far the Islamic principal application is accepted? And how far public will educate with this punishment.
Then we go back to the objective of punishment. It seems to be detrimental but it is intended to prevent harm based on legal maxim, “daf’u al-mafsadah muqaddamun ‘ala jalb al-maslahah. Firstly is retribution. Punishment is a general retaliation of society to maintain peace and social order. Under this objective, even though she was repented, the punishment of whipping is to maintain peace and harmony, whereby in my perspective , this punishment will reduce public to easily drinking alcohols in public area, and yet maintain peace and harmony to our country.

Secondly is Al-Zajr which is prevention and deterrence whereby to prevent the offender from the re-commission of further offences, which I guess similar to this case was to prevent Kartika to do this act again in future and remind all of public to do the same and to deter the members of society from initiating the offences. Moreover, Under Islamic Law, punishment is to rehab the offender from committing the sin which clearly obtained principle of tawbah. Last but not least is to expiation, which the purpose to clear the person’s account (sin) with allah. It was stated in one of the Hadith “whoever commits a crime deserving of hadd and receives its punishment in this world, this will be expiation”. I do believe this is the approach taken by Kartika where she herself accept and prepare for the punishment.
Secondly, under Civil Law she must go to prison to be caned but the Syariah court did not impose custodial sentence on her. Based on the reality, Syariah prosecutor went to Syariah court and asked for her to be “remanded” in prison for a week to facilitate the caning. The Syariah Judge granted the order.
This was illegal because a person can only be punished once. The punishment meted to Kartika was RM5,000 fine and six lashes; they instead obtained an additional sentence. Furthermore, how could they obtain a remand order? A remand is for the authority to put someone in a lock-up to complete investigation. She has already been found guilty and sentenced. The Syariah court had made a grave error, and caused an injustice. “What guideline are we going to use here? Do we want to punish her even worse than Syariah permits?

Civil law prohibits the caning of women, probably because criminal caning is considerably harsher than syariah caning. Some argue that the Syariah Law, which allows for a woman to be caned, runs counter to the Federal Law that does not allow a woman to be caned. But again, back to basic. Since amendment made in Federal Constitutional, in Islamic Matter, Shariah Law is prevail.
Some also argue that the whipping cannot be executed because prison regulations only allow the whipping of prisoners, and Kartika was not given a jail sentence. And Section 125 (4) of the Pahang Syariah Criminal Procedure Act 2002, which gives the court the right to detain her for caning, cannot be applied since it refers to offenders who have been sentenced to caning only. Kartika was given a fine in addition to the caning. And she has paid the fine. Many argue that, being a first-time offender, Kartika should not have received the maximum sentence. Yet others argue that a woman should be spared the cane. The last argument is weak. The amended Article 8 of the Federal Constitution says no one should be discriminated against on the basis of gender.
So, if the court honestly believes she deserves to be caned, then the woman should be caned. But here's the question: does Kartika deserve to be caned?
This is her first offence. By right, on the scale of penalties, she should have got the lowest punishment - a fine. Yet, why was she also given the maximum number of strokes of the rotan? Is the situation of Muslims publicly imbibing in alcohol at such a dire level that it warrants Kartika being made an example? At the eleventh hour, the Pahang syariah appellate court is wading into the issue and might revise the sentence. If they are set on caning her, they will either have to drop the fine (which has been paid) or add a jail sentence.But, there is another option: they could just drop the caning altogether and make her punishment just a fine. If this happens, then justice would not be served and Kartika would not have learned her lesson.

The option most loved by God is forgiveness. Of the 99 known names and attributes of Allah, six directly relate to compassion and mercy: Ar-Rahman (the mostcompassionate, the beneficient and the gracious), Ar-Rahim (the merciful), Al-Gaffar (the forgiver), Al-Gafur (the forgiving), Ar-Ra'uf (the most kind and the clement) and Al-'Afuww (the pardoner). Another, At-Tawwab (the granter and accepter of repentance). However, Islamic law is still Islamic Law which will be hold forever as a Muslim. Islamic Law is Allah’s right, which need to be taken seriously. Yes, Kartika may not be punished in Civil Law, but In Islamic Law, She have to accept what she did and yet, back to basic, where I do believe this is the approach taken by Kartika where she herself accept and prepare for the punishment which the purpose to clear the person’s account (sin) with allah. It was stated in one of the Hadith “whoever commits a crime deserving of hadd and receives its punishment in this world, this will be expiation”.
Allah's Rights upon His creation are the rights that must be kept the most. Allah is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Almighty who created everything with absolute wisdom. Allah is the One who initiated every being from nothing. He is the One who protects humans in their mothers' wombs, as infants, as children and as adults. He, alone, sustains all humans and provides them with food and every aspect of life. Allah said, what translated means, "And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah)." [16:78]
If Allah refuses sustenance to anyone he will be instantly destroyed. Allah's mercy is what keeps humans and everything else alive. Allah's control over his slaves is perfect. His bounties are countless. If this is His role in the life of humans, then His rights are what one must keep the most. Allah does not need sustenance from His slaves. He said, what translated means: "We ask not of you a provision. We provide it for you. And the good end is for the Muttaqeen (the ones who fear Allah)." [20:132]

Allah only wants one thing from His slaves. "And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and mankind except they should worship Me (alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong." [51:56-58]. The reward is "And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception." [3:185].