KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 ― Kedah PAS today backed its party’s Terengganu government against criticisms for publicly caning two Muslim women on Monday, saying Shariah punishments are meant to “instil fear towards Allah”.
Its commissioner Ahmad Fakhruddin Fakhrurazi said the cane is a “weapon” to curb social ills, citing alleged spread of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Malaysia as an example.
“It is undeniable, the laws have succeeded in opening the eyes of many people although they received many reactions. But the fact is, the philosophy of Shariah punishments is to instil fear towards Allah,” he said in a statement.
“The move done by the Terengganu government is accurate considering such cases, that are hotly fought by the LGBT, seem to have spread in Malaysia now,” he added.
He claimed that the public must be made aware that “LGBT acts” allegedly bring health problems and illnesses, and are major sins in the eyes of God.
On Monday, two women found guilty for attempting to have lesbian sex were caned six times in public at the Terengganu Syariah Court, as around 100 people watched the punishment.
The punishment received worldwide condemnation, with federal minister in charge of religious affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa saying public presence during the sentencing should be reviewed.
Women’s rights groups Justice for Sisters and Sisters in Islam also claimed the sentencing was unlawful, as the caning punishment can only be done against prisoners, but the duo were not imprisoned.