Muslim Model to be Caned for Drinking a Beer

21 08 2009

For the Muslim crime of drinking a beer, 32-year-old  Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who lives in Singapore with her husband, has been sentenced to pay a fine worth $1,400 and to six lashes by a rattan cane. The sentence for a Muslim being caught in public drinking can be as strict as a three-year prison term and caning, but typically offenders are only fined. Here’s a short article being published 8/22/09 from The Independent about this:

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno with children Muhammad and Kaitlynn - Source: The Independent

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno with children Muhammad and Kaitlynn - Source: The Independent

‘If you’re going to cane me, then do it in public’

Model’s stand after conviction for drinking alcohol exposes brutality of Malaysian law

by Andrew Buncombe, Asia editor

She says it was only the second time she had drunk alcohol in her life, and even then it was just a few of glasses of beer. But it was enough for a Muslim court in Malaysia to order Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a part-time model and mother-of-two, to be caned. The corporal punishment case has divided the Asian nation and led human rights campaigners to urge the authorities to show restraint.

Now, in her first interview, Ms Kartika has urged the authorities to carry out the punishment in public. “I never cried when I was sentenced by the judge,” she told Reuters at her father’s house in a village 200 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. “I told myself, all right then, let’s get on with it.”

Ms Kartika, who would be the first woman to be caned in the Muslim-majority country, is actually a citizen of neighbouring Singapore, and does not even live in Malaysia. But last year she was caught drinking at a hotel in Kuantan in the eastern Malaysian state of Pahang during a police raid. Under Malaysian law, while it is legal for non-Muslims to drink alcohol, Muslims – even foreigners – may not. [end of article]

I’ve been to Singapore, where this woman is from, and it is strict about a lot of things, but I easily saw women drinking in bars. I don’t know if they were Muslim or not. This incident took place in neighboring Malaysia, but still…I wonder how one of these raids takes place. Do the authorities walk in and demand proof whether you are Muslim or not? And how does one prove that?

I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia years ago and drinking was forbidden beerdue to the strict enforcement of Muslim Sharia law. There were no bars to go to and drink, but people still drank alcohol in their homes. Most expats (people from other countries working and living there) made their own wine and beer. Name-brand liquor was smuggled in the country and could be purchased.

As soon as an airplane lifted off and was no longer on Saudi Arabian soil, Saudis ordered and drank alcohol. While I’m sure there are many Muslims who follow the law and do not drink, there are many…like Mormons who also are required to not drink alcohol or religious zealots who are required by their faith to follow other strict codes…who often do what they want when they think no one who could judge them is watching or they are in a place where no could judge (and prosecute) them.

This was a simple case of a young woman sitting in a bar having a beer. If she was non-Muslim no one would care. If the religious police hadn’t shown up, no one would care. But this woman got caught. I can’t imagine a Mormon in our country being sentenced to pay such a hefty fine and being lashed even though their beliefs strictly forbid alcohol also.

The difference is that in our country…at least in theory and in most places…church and state are separate. This is a cautionary tale, though, that we must never allow religious zealots to take over the leadership of our country (as they are training people to do) or else we, too, might see religious “laws” and our judicial system laws become one and the same.

UPDATE: Kartika was on her way to a prison for the caning today, but was taken back home after she received a Ramadan (which began on 8/22) reprieve. The caning will still take place, but after Ramadan (the Islamic holy month) is over.

UPDATE 9/28/09: A judge in Malaysia has upheld the caning sentence and it will still be carried out.

UPDATE 4/1/10: One day before she was to surrender to authorities for the caning, Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang state overturned the Islamic court ruling and commuted Kartika’s sentence to three weeks of community service at a children’s home.

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11 responses

23 08 2009
zainal

Good law Malaysia, may be for offender 1X not an offence, so can i ask for 1X from offender!!! its not a crime isn it!!!!!!

hahahaha…… keep up Malaysia,

23 08 2009
zainal

Daine Beeler, are U a Muslim? want to talk about Muslim law, dont compare with ur inhuman laws somewhere!!!!! dont talk about your…….

23 08 2009
zainal

Ok I try to be moderate, for Kartika dont claimed to be MUSLIM in this website or anywhere, so she can drink so many times in her LIVES, as she liked,not only ONE or TWO,

As in MUslim Law i dont think, saying one or two times still OK, and no Punishment, I dont know please forgive me if iam wrong, may be CAN … max 2 times for ALCOHOL!!!!!

hahahaha……..

24 08 2009
Javed

Drinking Alcohol is not the fundamental human right. Plus don’t forget to follow the country rules where you are visiting. Since you drink or people you flew with drink on the airplane does not change anything about the fact that drinking is banned in a particular country. Please stop pushing your “drinking morals” onto others.

This is nothing to do against women or against men!!!!

24 08 2009
Shocked

Well, I m not going to touch on religious matters here so much, but it’s the way “they” claim the Syaria Law in Malaysia is done. Not sure if it is practiced in any other Muslim or Multi-racial countries but in Malaysia they are trying to make everything religiously related. I live in this country and it saddens me to see how the government and the syaria trying to make this country to become what it was never was from the beginning. They emphasize of majority, minority and we who are nothing less than a mere 10% of the population has to give in to such circumstances. Bare in mind that we among the minority who pay taxes as well-even more.

So, yeah the harsh reality they want to show that the Syaria law is a Law and it will govern this country; they will say “if you don’t like it than you can leave…”. There is no human rights here or freedom of speech as what any of us would like to claim. It’s all hearsay and at the end of the day, we get upset, eat our humble pies and just head home.

Question: Whether Kartika should be punished? How severe is her crime? Should she be canned? To be honest, this is a whole load of drama and political defamation. There’s so much of other crimes that is happening – murder, child abuse, rape, molestation, incest, theft and here our government wants to canned this women who only because she’s a Muslim and drank a beer during the fasting month!! Where is the priority here? Who gets what and when? Its like a mockery to me and letting outside of Malaysia speculate our government. They forget that Malaysia is a small country and they want to make issues like this know to the world. How pathetic is that?

I love this country and those who are minority like me. But, I don’t know if I want myself or my kids to spent the rest of their lives here anymore.

24 08 2009
minda_budaya

a lesson to be learn by malaysian who called themselves moslem devotees.
if you go to clubs around kl, well well we can see all these malay youths with beer jugs + liquor bottles plus plus and all are drinking happily like there’s no tomorrow. then if you spent more time until these malay are drunk enough, see them get into fights. most brawls i saw all the times i spent in clubs are malay youths. which comes to the equation drunk malay whois moslem = not suitable to drink alcohol = canning is the only lesson to make them all sober.
we call our malay nation a moslem god fearing people. i say bullsh*t. talk is cheap. but canning is really precious. raise my hand to canning to malaysian moslem drinking alchohol in public. like old malay sayings ” biaq depa rasa sakit baru depa tau..” peace out..

24 08 2009
azie2121

The existing written shariah law in Malaysia says Kartika is to be punished in such a manner. If she is not punished in such a manner, then that’s injustice according to Shariah law. What other people say regarding what is just and not, that’s a different story.

She accepts it and she believes she deserves it. For her and the family, that’s justice. She is not the type to appeal for its reduction. Not like some (or many of us) who begged for mercy for being caught speeding, if possible to RM0.00 fine.

No, not Kartika. She believes that if the existing Shariah law says so, she deserves it. For her, if she doesn’t get it now, she’s gonna get it “up there”. “Worse one. 6 lashes with bamboo cane, fully-

clothed, Islamic style? God willing, I will survive. So Amnesty, you can appeal for other people but stop appealing for me.”

(Islamic style of whipping is much less severe than the civil one. The elbow must touch the body of the whipper, only the rest carry the cane. I had a worse punishment from my father for disappearing from home for 2 hours during lunch time. So its not like the normal whipping you imagine where you are allowed to raise your hand as high as possible with a half an inch thick rattan whip).

The Islamic law, as far Muslims are concerned, is always fair. Otherwise, they wouldn;t wanna be Muslims. The enforcement? I dont think so. So Diana is right.

18 02 2010
extacyo

Massive topic!
This is why i love this site so much!

24 02 2010
zalikha

Hello everyone,

I am a malay, a muslim woman, an architecture student, and I am NOT wearing the hijab (head-scarves). Also I wear skirts, clothes that are not too sexy, and I pray and fast like Islam has told me t do so. Let me enlighten those of you who might not know the real situation of this unfortunate incident.

It is WRONG (HARAM) in Islam to drink. It is prohibited. If you see a muslim drinking, may it be in an airplane after it lifts off Saudi, or in a hidden bar, you should understand that the reason they do that is because it is prohibited in Islam, and that has got to be respected, as I respect my non-muslim friends with whatever they want to do.

Kartika, was caught because she drank in the OPEN PUBLIC area, which is why she was caught. If she wants to drink and go to hell, so be it, but the fact that she drank in public makes some of us feel insulted. I do have other “muslim” friends who drink, but they do it in their home or inside clubs and bars. They keyword here is to hide it, because it is wrong.

Althought I do share the same feeling with some of you that Shariah Law is sometimes a bit absurd, but I assure you the canning sentence upon Kartika is not as painful as it thought it would be. It is more to public humiliation and to remind th epublic, because it is enough to humiliate a muslim women to teach them, rather then hurting them (like scolding them in the public).

Islam does not allow a man to hit a woman. Thus if you do see one man doing so, they must have forgotten their iman/faith which relies largely on patience.

The canning sentence in Islam upon a women is not like the normal caning sentence that might have been carried out around the world. Because of the spark that kartika has caused, our government took the initiative to show the public the real process, and, currently, there is no rally or demonstration disapproving it,thus it is okay, I believe.

Let kartika learn her lesson. As much as modern, educated and daring as I am. I am worried with the rising number of Muslim’s drinking, because it has lead to so much youth issues in the Muslim community in Islam. Muslim youth are not like the non-muslim youth. They’re less responsible when it comes to taking drugs and driking, or adultery.

Babies born outside of marriage are being dumped and flushed down the toilets. CRUEL, I know.

I think it is best for those who believe in a peaceful world, to help educated eachother, rather than criticize. I want to live in a world where everyone is happy. I know it sounds rather cliche’, but I would rather get killed than causing another war between different race and religion.

Hence,we must understand each other.

and like SHOCKED said;

It’s all just an over told drama, with Kartika. She’s a model? She’s not that pretty!

19 04 2010
SeegiottSmoft

Good day!

This forum rocks. Nice to be here.

Bye!

25 04 2010
Celeste Kercheval

Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

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