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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Countries with hudud laws fail to reduce crime, says former top judge

KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim countries which have implemented Islamic capital punishments, or hudud, have not been successful in reducing crime rate, former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad said recently. 

Speaking at a public talk in Petaling Jaya, Abdul Hamid (pic) compared several Muslim countries practising hudud laws, which form part of the Syariah system, with non-Muslim nations, noting that they were far behind in terms of tackling crime and establishing peace and justice despite the existence of hudud laws. 

“So far, countries that have implemented hudud such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Sudan, are still far behind in comparison with countries that did not implement it, like Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Japan,” he said in his lecture at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS). 

He said the implementation of hudud in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina should also not be a yardstick to determine the effectiveness of Islamic laws. 

“Those who go there for the Hajj are there once in their lifetime and have brought sufficient money. These people want to perform an accepted Hajj and are mostly the elderly and repentant,” he said. 

“Clearly they would not commit crimes,” he added. 

State governments in Malaysia have the authority to implement laws governing Muslims, but such laws could be extended to non-Muslims if the case involves abetting a Muslim in committing an offence. 

Hudud was proposed by the current PAS government in Kelantan as well as in Terengganu during the party’s rule, but to date, it has not been enforced. 

Abdul Hamid noted that prior to implementation of any laws, legislators should also be aware of the repercussions and not merely focus on enforcement. 

“The implementation of laws does not end with enforcement,” he said. 

“What is more important is how it is done, what are the effects and as an end result, would it bring about better standards of living, peace and prosperity? Would it improve the standards of justice in this country?” he added.

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