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Sharia law enforcing 'torture' gets postponed: Americans and Brunei react

Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Getty Images AsiaPac

Brunei was originally set to implement it’s harsh law today. The strict law, known as Sharia law, punishes for crimes that range from rape, to theft, to alcohol consumption. The punishment for these crimes include whipping, severing limbs and being stoned to death.

According to YahooNews, the UN has stated their feelings on the soon-to-be enforced law as “very concerned.” Explaining that enforcement of ‘stoning to death’ is classified as torturous and inhumane. Surprisingly, there has been little news surfacing from the US regarding American’s reaction on Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s plan to enact the Sharia law.

The largest response from the US that surfaces Google News today, isn’t that the Sharia law is postponing today’s implementation, it is that the LGBT community is pulling a four-day conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel because Sultan Bolkiah owns the hotel. Understandably so, as the Sharia law punishes homosexual behavior severely, with death by stoning.

According to various reports, many Brunei citizens have voiced their fears and distastes via social media for the law, and Sultan Bolkiah has reportedly responded by telling citizens that, “they will be sorry for any public criticism of Sharia once it is implemented.”

According to, Brunei officials have stated that these cases would require a great deal of proof and judge's discretion to carry out the penalties. This statement certainly adds to the newly conceived perception of Brunei as it intends to enforce such a strict law. Especially as Yahoo reports that the country has had an existing death penalty law that hasn’t actually been imposed since 1957.

Sultan Bolkiah has not yet stated when the next expected date to enact the law will be, but he asks that other countries respect Brunei in the same way they have respected other countries. Citizens of Brunei have also posted comments on news articles surfacing the web about the sultan, saying that he is actually a very well-respected, charitable man and that the media is painting him to be some “crazed dictator.”

As the leader has ruled Brunei since 1967 — and during the existing death penalty law that has hardly been administered, it could be possible that the law is merely being implemented in an attempt to instill great fear among citizens to further institute overall citizen’s safety. If this is the case, and most of these laws also hardly get enforced, American’s are reacting to the leader’s views on homosexuality resulting in death. If the law didn’t include punishment for homosexuality, would there be a reaction, say on just the extreme punishment for drinking alone?

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