Sultan of Brunei threatens his citizens following online criticism of Sharia law plan
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiam, who is worth $20 billion, ominously said people will be sorry they criticized the plan once Sharia law is in place.
BY STEPHEN REX BROWN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
IMAGE: AHIM RANI/REUTERS
'It is truly frightening to think that we might potentially be stoned to death for being lovers, that we may be fined for being of a different sexual orientation, and that what we wear will be regulated,' one recent post online read criticizing the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiam.
Brunei’s all-powerful Sultan has ordered his citizens to stop criticizing his plan to institute a harsh version of Sharia law, telling them they’ll be sorry once the law is implemented.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiam — one of the world’s richest men — presides over the tranquil, oil-rich kingdom neighboring Malaysia with a population of 400,000.
He announced last October that Brunei would gradually institute Sharia law punishments such as flogging, severing limbs and death by stoning beginning April 1.
Criticizing the sultan is forbidden, but the citizens of Brunei have still expressed their displeasure with Sharia law over social media, Agence France Presse reported.
That didn’t sit well with Hassanal.
"They cannot be allowed to continue committing these insults, but if there are elements which allow them to be brought to court, then the first phase of implementing the Syariah Penal Code Order in April will be very relevant to them," he said, according to a copy of his speech published by state media.
IMAGE: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Anti-social media: Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiam made vague threats about criticizing his plan to institute sharia law.
AFP noted that the sultan didn’t explain how social media users could be prosecuted under Islamic law.
Examples of Sharia punishments include stoning for adultery and severing of limbs for theft. The Taliban often uses Sharia law to justify brutality in areas it controls.
The strict religious code doesn’t appeal to everyone in Brunei — so much so they dared to express their displeasure.
"It is truly frightening to think that we might potentially be stoned to death for being lovers, that we may be fined for being of a different sexual orientation, and that what we wear will be regulated," one recent post online read, according to AFP.
Hassanal hasn’t backed down, and said his Islamic monarchy is “a firewall” against the moral turpitude of globalization.
Not surprisingly, the sultan — who is worth $20 billion, according to Forbes — has singled out the internet as one of the biggest threats facing Brunei.
- LHC upholds blasphemy convict Asia Bibi's death penalty
- Update: Bahrain – Trial date scheduled for human rights defender Ms Maryam Al-Khawaja
- Iran detains UK citizen over ban on women watching sports alongside men
- SUDAN CHRISTIAN WOMAN MERIAM IBRAHIM & FAMILY ARRIVE IN ITALY & MEET WITH POPE FRANCIS
- Letter to Obama Administration on Egyptian State Violations of Human Rights
- Please acquit and release Asia Bibi
- Over 220 Global Organizations Call for Immediate Release of Seven Imprisoned Women Human Rights Defenders in Egypt
- Send your support to Yara Sallam and other human rights defenders imprisoned in Egypt
- URGENT: Join the international campaign against Egypt’s repressive protest law!
- Arbitrary Arrests and Detention of Women Human Rights Defenders
- Egypt: #noprotestlaw campaign abridged toolkit
- No One is Safe: Abuses of Women in Iraq's Criminal Justice System
- Everyone's Guide to By-passing Internet Censorship
- WSF: Two cheers for multiculturalism
- WSF: The rise of fundamentalism and the role of the ‘state’ in the specific political context of Palestine