The public caning of two Terengganu women caught having sex in a car had continued the discussion of the principle of the punishment on a global scale.
The caning which took place on Monday (Sept 3) had stirred up an outcry from celebrities and public figures all over the world on Twitter and it led to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to bring the issue to the Cabinet for a discussion yesterday.
Through a Facebook video today (Sept 6), Dr Mahathir said the government was of the opinion that the public stunt didn’t reflect the quality of justice and sympathy in Islam. He contended that it was the women’s first offence, therefore they deserved a lighter sentence which revolved around more of education and advice.
Dr Mahathir said the public caning had worsened the image of Islam and brought the case to everyone’s attention nationwide.
“This gives a bad impression of Islam.
“That is why we feel that even if there are cases such as this, consideration should be given under certain circumstances, where in Islam we can mete out a lighter sentence while also giving advice and more,” said the premier.
He said it’s important to demonstrate that Islam wasn’t a cruel religion or one that deliberately meted out heavy punishment to humiliate others, adding that it wasn’t the way of Islam.
“This is the Cabinet’s opinion, and we hope that we can be more careful not to show that Islam is a religion that does not know how to compromise or to be considerate.
“In fact, when we start something, we start it with ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim’, in the name of Allah, the most Gracious and Merciful, but then we act as if in Islam there is no generosity at all.”
Over on Twitter since the caning news broke out, internationally-known band singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons expressed his disappointment that such “bigotry, sexism, homophobia” was still happening around the world in 2018. The rock singer urged the people to speak out against it so that the voices could lead to a change one day.
this is what is happening around the world still today. in 2018. we are not past bigotry, sexism, homophobia or racism. it is alive. we must see it. we must speak out against it. our voices can create change. https://t.co/PESHFHtCb4
— Dan Reynolds (@DanReynolds) September 3, 2018
The four men band held their concert in Malaysia back in January this year. Lately, the lead singer Reynolds even went head to head against “Rap God” Eminem because of the latter usage of “faggot” in a song, an equivalent “n” world in the LGBT community.
Actor Dirk Blocker from the hit TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine also made a stance against the caning, so much so that he urged the people to boycott Malaysia products until the government “stops torturing people for living their lives.”
Boycott Malaysian products until the government there stops torturing people for living their lives.
— Dirk Blocker (@DirkBlocker) September 3, 2018