The Islamic nation of Brunei will be implementing strict Sharia law this week. The penalty for thievery will be to have a hand and foot amputated. The penalty for adultery and for homosexuality will be death by stoning. Remember that these standards come from Allah himself through the so-called “prophet” Muhammad, and are recorded for all-time in the Qur’an.
Now to be sure, one can believe that both adultery and homosexuality should both be contrary to public policy, as they were throughout the United States until the recent past, without prescribing execution as the proper deterrent. For example, George Washington literally drummed out of his army a soldier who attempted sodomy with a fellow soldier. His penalty was to be discharged from the military, not to be hung by the neck until dead.
Adultery is still illegal in 21 states, including in New York where it is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of $500 or 90 days in jail. Nobody faces a firing squad in America for adultery. And while most Americans do not want it recriminalized, 80% of them still believe (correctly) that it is always wrong.
So immoral behaviors (like adultery or sodomy) can be illegal without calling for the guilty to forfeit their lives. Certainly one of the reasons for this standard in Western law is the example set by Jesus when the woman caught in adultery was brought before him. He forgave her, but added, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). He did not justify it or say that it was no big thing. He warned her quite seriously about lapsing into such a sin again.
But Brunei is going the full Sharia, taking the law code of Allah and Muhammad and applying it as written. In other words, this is the real Islam, the true and authentic Islam in action. As the kingdom of Brunei itself says, these penalties are straight from the “teachings of Islam.”
Sultan and Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah was explicit: “The decision to implement the (penal code) is not for fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran.” These changes to the penal code, he said, represent a “great achievement.”
Actor and activist George Clooney, in consequence, has called for a boycott of every luxury hotel owned by Brunei, all nine of them. "In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone," Clooney said. These hotels must be boycotted lest we fund their inhumanity. "Are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations?”
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called the law "cruel and inhumane."
Former US Vice President Joe Biden said stoning "people to death for homosexuality or adultery is appalling and immoral...There is no excuse -- not culture, not tradition -- for this kind of hate and inhumanity."
Rachel Chhoa-Howard, the Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, said, "Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments, and revise its Penal Code in compliance with its human rights obligations.”
In other words, if you listen to these experts - not me - Islam is “authoritarian, cruel and inhumane, appalling and immoral, (filled with) hate and inhumanity,” and is a walking, talking roster of “human rights violations.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Bottom line: since George Clooney is condemning authentic Islam, he has outed himself as the leading Islamophobe on planet earth. And the example of Brunei makes it abundantly clear that nobody, including our enlightened celebrities, likes Islam when they see it for what it really is.