Brunei, a small country (about 6000 square km) on the north coast of Borneo, is the fifth richest country in the world—from oil, of course. It’s also an “Islamic republic,” and up to now hasn’t been nearly as oppressive as Muslim countries in the Middle East about issues like women’s rights.
That’s just changed, for the imposition of new sharia-based laws, drawn up last fall, has just begun. According to articles in the April 30 Guardian and the May 1 Los Angeles Times, the Islamic hammer is about to come down on Brunei’s residents. From the Guardian:
The sultan of oil-rich Brunei has announced the introduction of tough Islamic criminal punishments, pushing ahead with plans that have sparked international condemnation and rare domestic criticism of the fabulously wealthy ruler.
“With faith and gratitude to Allah the almighty, I declare that tomorrow, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law…
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