“There’s really no such thing as just Sharia, it’s not one monolithic Continuum – Sharia is understood in thousands of different ways over the 1,500 years in which multiple and competing schools of law have tried to construct some kind of civic penal and family law code that would abide by Islamic values and principles, it’s understood in many different ways…” — Reza Aslan
Not really: “[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” — Qur’an 5:38
The draft penal code bill has been amended to include punishments as prescribed in the Quran, such as amputation for theft.
The new article added during a parliamentary committee meeting Thursday (March 28) states that if someone convicted of a crime requires legal punishment, as specified in the penal code, that person will face punishment as stated in the Quran.
MP Imthiyaz Fahmy clarified the amendment to the draft penal code is about hadd punishments only and “not at all” about all Sharia offences, speaking with Minivan News today.
“Hadd offenses are already crimes in the draft penal code. However the prescribed punishments in Sharia for those particular crimes are not codified in the draft penal code, but instead they are left up to the interpretation of Sharia,” stated Fahmy.
“But to completely evade making a reference to hadd punishments or to mention that no hadd punishment at all should be imposed is impossible to the the fact that Sharia shall be one of the basis of all the laws of the Maldives,” he added.
Criminal punishments are detailed for murder, fornication, thievery and drinking alcohol.
The committee’s chairperson, MP Ahmed Hamza, told Sun Online the new draft penal code will require amputating persons convicted of theft, while a person convicted of apostasy (renouncing Islam) will also face punishment.
The bill does not include apostasy as a crime, therefore someone found guilty of this offense cannot be subjected to Quranic punishment, committee member MP Ahmed Mohamed clarified.
Gambling is also not criminalised, according to committee member MP Abdul Azeez Jamaal Aboobakuru. He told local media that the bill does not “state a manner in which such crimes can be convicted”.
Fahmy explained that Sharia law does not prescribe a hadd punishment for gambling.
The penal code draft bill does include factors that must be considered before convicting a person of murder; for example, any contradictory evidence would prevent such a conviction.
Imposing the death penalty cannot be subject only to the confession of the accused.
“Sharia does not run headlong into death penalties, amputation or stoning to death. Therefore depending on the circumstances, Sharia may avoid capital punishments,” said Fahmy.
He further clarified that Sharia punishments may be interpreted according to any of the schools of Sunni Muslims….