Ruler of Peaceable Brunei Gives Thumbs-Up to Stoning Adulterers and Other Sharia Savagery

The tiny Southeast Asian country of Brunei, population 409,000, has long been a relatively moderate Islamic state. Hassanal Bolkiah, the oil-producing country’s imperial ruler, is hell-bent on changing that – the moderate part, that is.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah — one of the world’s wealthiest men — said a new Sharia Penal Code in the works for years was officially introduced on Tuesday in the tiny, oil-flush sultanate and would be phased in beginning in six months.

Based on individual cases, punishments could include stoning to death for adultery, severing of limbs for theft, and flogging for violations ranging from abortion to alcohol consumption, according to a copy of the code.

The easiest way for adulterous Brunei citizens to avoid death or mutilation is to leave Islam, as the code applies to Muslims only (who make up two-thirds of the population). Then again, the new rules probably contain some barbaric punishment for apostasy, too.

In his autocratic crackdown on immorality, the sultan, whose net worth is north of $20,000,000,000, might want to send the constables to his brother Jefri’s door. Jefri Bolkiah is alleged to have pilfered $15,000,000,000 from the state’s coffers when he was the finance minister in the 1990s. More to the point,

Subsequent court battles and exposes revealed salacious details of Jefri’s un-Islamic jet-set lifestyle, including allegations of a high-priced harem of Western paramours and a luxury yacht he owned called “Tits.”

When announcing the new penal code today, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah stressed that

“[It] does not in any way change our policies … as a member of the family of nations.”

He should tell that to the women who are going to be buried up to their waist and stoned until they die.

(Thanks to Scott for the tip)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • Kristian Alekov

    Sexy time!

  • LizzyJessie

    I sometimes wonder what would happen to the people in these regions when the world finally moves away from its incredible oil dependency.

  • Zoe

    I thought the women were buried to their neck, and the men to their waist (to give them a slight chance at getting away). Probably a moot point when it comes to adultery — it seems the crime only applies to the women.

  • compl3x

    Another day in the wacky, wacky world of Islam. I’m sure there are some reasonable, “moderate” Muslims out there who can explain why this isn’t brutal barbarism.

  • Lori F

    Of course, if someone left Islam, isn’t that punishable by death?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Nothing is brutal barbarism when it’s done for the Greater Glory of God™. Just ask WLC.

  • Terry Firma

    Depends. “Islamic scholarship differs on the appropriate punishment for the apostate (or murtad مرتد ), which ranges from execution – based on an interpretation of certain hadiths – to no punishment at all as long as [the apostates] do not rebel against the Islamic society or religion.”

    But yes, in the islamic world, death is an entirely common punishment for changing one’s religion, becoming an atheist, joking about Allah, etc.

  • C Peterson

    The reasonable, moderate Muslims out there would agree that it’s brutal barbarism.

  • Mario Strada

    He looks very proud. Probably thinking of the next time he’ll get to ride “tits” among the waves.

  • Latraviata

    Really? They certainly don’t speak out, well not very often.

  • C Peterson

    How would they do that? Only the tiniest fraction of people have any sort of public voice.

  • Mick

    The citizens will be delighted. The religion of peace will remain even more peaceful now that the criminals will be properly punished.

  • ShoeUnited
  • closetatheist

    you’re correct, that’s typical. And both parties are sometimes told that if they can struggle free they will be allowed to go – so the women ain’t getting nowhere, especially since they’re often tightly covered in a sheet too. You know, cause they’re not being dehumanized enough already.

  • closetatheist

    Imams seem to find their way into broadcasting frequencies when someone says something mean about allah, draws a picture of allah, accuses them of being extremist… at the very least they should be condemning this behavior amongst themselves. But as far as I can tell, if they don’t tacitly condone it, they pretend like it doesn’t exist.

  • DougI

    Laws tend to not apply to the rich so those billionaires can have sex with all the women they want, they’ll never be charged with adultery. Such barbaric laws are not intended to maintain morality, but to keep the people living in fear and therefore compliant. America will happily provide weapons to help the dictator oppress the people.

  • C Peterson

    Only a fraction of imams have a public voice. I’m sure there are a thousand moderate Christian pastors for every Fischer or Robertson, but we don’t hear fron them. And we don’t hear from moderate imams all over the world, either. I’m sure there are plenty of moderate Muslims in Islamic nations, as well. Of course, they generally can’t speak out, as that would be a death sentence.

  • Christian Kemp

    We live in a crazy world where a country like Brunei can adopt these rules, and the United Nations will not even blink or ask other nations to enforce sanctions. These laws are clear violations of human rights, I just wish more countries would stand up and say something about it. Any religious state anywhere in the world has problems as their founding principles are based on a flawed belief that god is real.

  • Christian Kemp

    The same thing that happened with Christianity, they will go kicking and screaming and change their laws. We just have to look at inter racial marriages and how the church (which rejected) now accepts them.

  • Bdole

    That’s Hassanal Bolkiah the Merciless, to you, buddy.

  • Ewan

    Which is, of course, why there was no fuss at all over that whole Mohammed cartoons thing.

  • eric

    AIUI, “the people” are not sharing much in the oil profits to begin with. This is another country with a small rich elite and a large portion of population at third-world-subsistence levels of poverty. While in the short run there would be a bad economic crash, in the long run it might actually be better for the people as a whole to move to an economy which is based on a wider variety of services, and is thus less open to a small elite being able to skim off all the wealth it generates.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Next up, morality police and pushing girls back into flaming schools. Hilarity ensues.

  • the moother

    Lol?? He had a yacht called Tits? Did he have another yacht called GTFO?

    “So, what’ll it be totay? Tits or GTFO?”

  • name

    Having worked in Brunei on and off for the past few years I really ( obviously mistakenly ) thought it was a moderate, fairly ‘westernised’ country, where most people i met admitted to drinking alcohol, doing drugs occasionally and eating the odd bit of pork, and where the younger middle class parts of society were used to flying to KL or Singapore for a weekend of partying much as we in Britain go to Amsterdam or Barcelona, and were all obsessed with driving fast cars and motorbikes. Many of the students attend universities and colleges in the UK, all expenses paid by the Bruneian government, and some enjoyed it so much that they would purposely fail their exams so they would get to repeat years and stay longer in the UK. The people i knew were pretty much Muslim by birth only and paid little more than lip service to that particular invisible sky fairy. They have a good road, housing, healthcare and education infrastructure, but there are always stories in the local news about immigrant labourers committing crimes ( everyone needs someone to point the blame at, right?). There would always be one, though, in the work group who was devoutly religious and everyone would suddenly become more Muslim as soon as this guy entered the room for fear of being reported to the religious police. A bad day and a huge step backwards towards medieval barbarity for that small country.

  • name

    And i can confirm that the two tender boats his cousin had on ‘Tits’, were called ‘Nipple 1′ and ‘Nipple 2′.

  • name

    sorry, I meant his brother.

  • Oranje

    I….I mean…. wha….

    Tits?!? Seriously?