I read today that an Islamic court in Malaysia will reconsider the sentence handed out to a mum for her heinous crime of drinking beer. Her punishment was to be six strokes of the rattan. According to the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, the sentence is too harsh. No kidding. This story comes on the back of the case involving Sudanese woman Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein,who is facing forty lashes from a whip for wearing indecent clothing.She wore a pair of trousers in public.
At the other end of crazy, is the story of Portsmouth serial menace to society, David Moore, who has collected 103 driving offenses including nine counts of driving under the influence and 24 convictions for driving while banned. He was sentenced to just six months in jail because that's the maximum penalty available under the law.
Some people tell you that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. They say that morality is universal. Even allowing for the extreme nature of these cases, it doesn't require Einstein's intellect to figure out that something has gone wrong with human notions of decent behavior and justice. Rational people gasp in astonishment when they hear of this madness, but rational people made these laws and rational people imposed the sentences. Are we all mental?
Western laws are based on the Ten Commandments while Islamic Law is obviously based on the Quran. Very nice ideals are presented in these great books but perhaps they are too hard to attain, too much for mere mortals to achieve. Somewhere along the line, the theory of justice has been flushed down a toilet of relative morality. The practice of justice can be a truly terrible thing in the hands of fragile fallen humanity.
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