A Sharia court in Malaysia has sentenced part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, to be flogged for drinking a beer at a nightclub. In Malaysia, only Muslims can be flogged for alcohol consumption and the government turns over the accused to the Sharia courts to mete out their own Islamic justice.
Shukarno pleaded guilty to drinking the beer at a nightclub in 2008.
While caning is usually reserved for men, this court felt that the woman needed six lashes with a rattan cane and a fine for consuming alcohol. We have, however, seen other cases of women sentenced to flogging as part of Islamic justice, here and here and here.
In Saudi Arabia, even having coffee with a women can result in flogging, here.
It never fails to amaze me how a nation like Malaysia can maintain such laws. First, the nation has a law that only criminalizes conduct of citizens of a single religion. I will not venture to guess how police knows that a woman is a Muslim (as opposed to a Christian who can drank openly) or why someone cannot simply claim to be a Christian. I assume that their identification has their religious faith. Second, the government makes religious courts an extension of its legal system with the ability to mete out corporal punishment.
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