Despite amendments, non-Muslims not left out of Kelantan’s hudud bill?


(MMO) – Despite claims that hudud will only apply to Muslims in the state, the Kelantan government has retained three dubious clauses in the amended Shariah Criminal Code (1993) that could subject non-Muslims to the contentious Islamic penal law.

A check by Malay Mail Online showed that the Bill retained Clause 56, 57 and 58 under the “General” supplementary that provides for hudud and ta’zir (discretionary) punishments for anyone who conspires, plots, abets or assists in the act of a crime.

Clause 58 also provides that those found to have assisted in a sariqah (theft) offence would also be subject to the hudud punishment of amputation.

Clause 56 states that “if the act of crime is perpetrated by a result of or caused by abetment, assistance, plotting or malicious planning, everyone involved in the planning, plotting, assisting or partaking in the malicious plan to perpetuate an act of crime shall be punished by imprisonment under ta’zir of not more than 10 years.”

Clause 57 states that “shall an act of crime be perpetrated by a group of individuals in order to realise a malicious plan then every of those individuals involved shall be deemed as guilty as the main perpetrator and shall be punished with imprisonment under ta’zir of not more than ten years.”

Clause 58 states that “any person found guilty of committing an offence of sariqah (theft) in a group, each of the person shall be punished by hudud (amputation) as if each person were the sole perpetrator of the act.”

Law scholars had previously voiced concern over the three clauses when the original Shariah Criminal Code was first introduced and passed in the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly in 1993.

Many noted that the provisions did not explain if hudud would remain exclusively applied to Muslims in the event that a criminal act was perpetrated by both a Muslim and a non-Muslim.

One of them, Mohammad Hashim Kamali,renowned former law professor at the Islamic University of Malaysia, in his critique of the Hudud Bill back in 1993 wrote that the three clauses raised doubts if Kelantan would stick to its pledge to apply the Shariah Criminal Code only on Muslims.

“Questions tend to arise as to the state of the laws when both Muslims and non-Muslims are involved in a case of, say adultery or theft.

“It would seem that the choice of law that is envisaged in Clause 56 would be discriminatory and illogical,” Muhammad wrote in his essay entitled Punishment in Islamic Law: A Critique on the Hudud Bill In Kelantan.

Read more at: