Thursday, May 8, 2014


Stars boycott Beverly Hills Hotel over Brunei sharia move
Stars of Hollywood are boycotting one of the area’s most famous hotels because of a harsh Islamic penal code introduced by Brunei’s government.
Dorchester hotel boycott grows over ties to Sharia law
Virgin CEO Richard Branson has joined the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry and some fashion designers who said they are boycotting the luxury Dorchester Hotel chain over the owner’s ties to the introduction of Sharia law in the Sultanate of Brunei.

“No Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights,” Branson tweeted Saturday from his personal Twitter account.
That is how the west fights Hudud. They boycott hotels in the UK and the US owned by Brunei or the Brunei Royal Family. I believe that this is still just a token or symbolic gesture because boycotting Brunei-owned hotels is not exactly a ‘trade sanction’ that is going to hurt or bankrupt the Brunei economy.
What the west should do is to boycott Shell. Shell has been in Brunei since 1929 and it is because of Shell that Brunei and the Brunei Royal Family are super-rich. The Sultan is estimated to be worth just under RM100 billion. Without Shell, Brunei would be just like a fishing village in Kelantan or Terengganu.
If we really want to hurt Brunei then the 400 million or so British and Americans should lobby their governments to force Shell to pull out of Brunei. Shell should abandon Brunei and no longer help Brunei or the Royal Family to become even richer than they are now. That will really be teaching Brunei and the Royal Family a lesson. Let Petronas, Pertamina, or whatever, go to Brunei and take over instead as long as it is not Shell.
Actually, and I do not know whether the British and Americans know this, many other Muslim countries, just like Brunei, also have Sharia laws and punish gays, adulterers, adulteresses, apostates, etc., plus those who commit heresy and blasphemy — sometimes with the death sentence. One such country, of course, is Saudi Arabia. In fact, Saudi Arabia, just like Brunei, is ruled by a Royal Family and not by a democratically-elected government.
I am surprised that the west does not realise this. Why are they still buying oil from Saudi Arabia and all those other Muslim countries that adopt such barbaric Islamic laws? Brunei is such a small country. Its population is only about 10% that of Manchester. We should take on the big boys and no longer buy their oil.
No doubt that may create an oil crisis, which will push the price of oil sky-high, and which might hurt the economies of many countries. But that is not important. We must stand on our principles of opposing the Islamic Sharia law by refusing to buy oil from Muslim countries that adopt Islamic laws just like we are boycotting Brunei-owned hotels as a matter of principle.
Anyway, our problem should be closer to home. PAS wants us to allow the Kelantanese their democratic right to decide what type of laws they want in their state. I am all for that. Democracy works for me. Whatever the majority of the Kelantanese decide is fine with me.
But what if more than 50% of the Kelantanese decide that apostasy should be allowed? What if the majority wants the freedom to leave Islam or the freedom to convert to Christianity? Since this is what the majority wants will PAS agree to it or will apostasy still not be allowed? We are talking about respecting the wishes of the majority under the spirit of democracy, are we not?
PAS has offered to sit down and discuss this matter with Umno and any Barisan Nasional political party that would like to discuss Hudud. That is good. It is always wise to discuss something as controversial as Hudud before rushing in to adopt it. But can we first agree on the language we are going to use in this discussion?
For example, are we going to discuss it in the language of theology and religion? Are we going to discuss it in the language of civil liberties and human rights? Are we going to discuss it in the language of the law and the constitution?
It is very important that we first agree on the language we are going to use. If we are going to discuss it in the language of what God (Allah) decreed, then the law, the constitution, civil liberties, human rights, etc., should not be part of this discussion. God’s laws cannot be discussed in the context of man-made laws, man-made constitutions, civil liberties, human rights, and so on.
I mean, God forbids same-gender sex and that is that. End of discussion! God also forbids Muslims to drink, gamble, consume pork, and whatnot. Also end of discussion! You may think this is a violation of your freedom of choice but God does not think so. So how to include the law, the constitution, civil liberties, human rights, and so on, in the discussion? We must only discuss what God wants and not what we want.
So the language we use to discuss Hudud must first be established. Only then can we start discussing the matter. If not then it would be futile to discuss this issue as we would be using different languages and hence would never be able to understand one another.
Some Muslims tend to use only one language, the language of God. And because of that, unless you are an orthodox or fundamentalist Muslim, you will never be able to understand this language. You might even think that these Muslims are mad. And this is why, thus far, we have not been able to resolve this matter other than agreeing to disagree, which means we do not really agree in the end.
But how do you tell orthodox or fundamentalist Muslims to stop talking in the language of God and instead talk in the language of the law, the constitution, civil liberties, human rights, etc? I suppose that would be as difficult as telling Christians to stop talking about Christ as the Son of God and instead talk about him as just another of the many human Prophets and the second-last Prophet before Muhammad.