MALAYSIA’s obsession with imposing barbaric Islamic punishments on citizens guilty of violating shariah law continues unabated.
Last year, for example, two women caught having sex in a parked car were each given six lashes amid a heightened crackdown on homosexuality. The women, ages 22 and 32, were also fined more than RM3,400 ($800).
Now reports say that, in what is possibly the first case of its kind in the country, six male Muslims, including three teenagers, have been sentenced to a month in jail and fined over RM 2,000 (around $480) for skipping Friday prayers.
The six were reportedly arrested in August during a raid by the Terengganu Islamic Religious Affairs Department.
Its female officers entered a recreation area first for surveillance and found the six accused to be among several people picnicking with their families at the Sekayu Waterfall between 1pm and 1.50pm on August 23, 2019 , instead of being at the mosque for obligatory prayers that Friday.
Male officers then went in and made the arrests after Friday prayers ended.
Khairul Azle Abdul Rasid, 35; Abdul Malek Mohd, 25; Muhamad Hafizi Abdul Razak, 22; Muhammad Aliff Fikri A Mazzani, 19; and two unnamed 17-year-old boys were given the sentence by Syarie judge Nik Mohd Shahril Irwan Mat Yusof at the Hulu Terengganu Lower Shariah Court earlier after pleading guilty to a charge of deliberately missing compulsory Friday prayers.
The six were accused of violating Section 16 of the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment (Takzir) amendment 2016, which provides for a maximum jail sentence of two years, or a fine up to RM3,000 (around $720) on those convicted.
While all six were ordered to be locked up one month, father of two Khairul Azle got the heftiest fine of RM2,500 (around $600). The others who were all bachelors were each fined RM 2,400 (around $575).
The median Malaysian salary is about RM2,400 a month.