Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Amputation under Hudud

Screenshot from an ISIS video. Image credit: https://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/78/590x/ISIS-588412.jpg

It all started when Kelantan deputy menteri besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said contemporary Islamic scholars were of the opinion that the services of doctors were needed to carry out punitive amputation on thieves found guilty under hudud law. 

“We want to use a surgeon to avoid any damage to the remaining parts of the limb”, he was quoted saying. 

Singapore’s Today on January 03, 2018 cited him as also saying the state will allocate RM1 million (S$330,552) to research how best to implement hudud that includes amputation, whipping and stoning for some offences. 

Just as promptly, three prominent Muslim doctors of medicine voiced outrage over the said proposal. They told FMT that would mean asking a doctor to violate his professional oath of doing no harm to the human body. 

The three were Islamic Renaissance Front director Ahmad Farouk Musa, who is a cardiothoracic surgeon, California-based surgeon and political commentator M Bakri Musa and Kota Raja MP Siti Mariah Mahmud, a doctor who used to teach medicine at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. 

On Sunday, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah even had to issue a statement that the health ministry will never allow doctors to cut off the hands of thieves found guilty even if hudud is implemented in the country. 

“What we said in 2015 still stands today”. 

He maintained that both the health ministry and Malaysian Medical Council are clear about this. 

Only because elections are looming, PAS started to become defensive. 

So, on Tuesday, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man questioned the criticisms levelled at his fellow PAS member. He said that any discussion was irrelevant as there is currently no such laws in Malaysia. 

“Even in the amendment to Act 355 which has not been passed does not entail such a law”, he said, referring to PAS’s efforts to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. 

And in a separate report, Kelantan chief Syariah judge Daud Muhammad said the amputation of limbs was not something that would be enforced indiscriminately. 

He added that there were many aspects to consider before delivering such a punishment. “It is not necessary to cut the hand for stealing... we must see the circumstances, such as whether (the thief) was desperately acting out of hunger or other causes that led to the crime”, he was quoted as saying. 

“God willing, we will not have to reach that extent. It is, however, important to have and empower the law”, he added. 

I don't know why but suddenly, I am envisioning a population of limbless citizens in Kelantan – if the Taliban, oops, I mean PAS continue to wield power. For a start, it is public knowledge that Kelantan’s vices are already way over its head.

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