The world is slowly moving towards accepting that love is love - whether it's with a person of the same gender or the opposite gender. But this change seems to be happening only in pockets. Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, that criminalised homosexuality, got scrapped only last year. However, while some countries seem to be moving forward, others seem to be moving back in time.
The country of Brunei has now introduced harsh, new Sharia laws which include death by stoning for adultery and gay sex. Despite getting a lot of flak from international human rights and LGBTQ activists, the country has gone forward with formalising the laws.
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The tropical Borneo island is ruled by the powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah who is responsible for enforcing this strict penal code. It has fully come into force now after years of delay.
These changes also make it legal for law enforcement, who have been given the authority by the Sultan, to amputate hands and feet of thieves. Under the new laws, rape, robbery and insulting the Prophet are also punishable by death. This applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
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According to media reports, the Sultan, who has been on the throne for over five decades said, "I want to see Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger." He insists that the country is "fair" as well as "safe and harmonious".
People are taking to Twitter to express their disbelief and utter shock at this news. Here's what some of them had to say:
The level of backwardness with which Brunei's legal code is composed is mind-boggling. Of course, what can you expect from a state ruled by a bunch of rich gangsters who don't have to answer to anyone? #BruneiBoycott
— Chad A. Griffiths (@realCGriffiths) 29 March 2019
Jeez. Disgusting doesn't come close to covering it. It's 2019, people should not have to live in fear for their lives for being themselves #HumanRights #diversitymatters #bruneiboycott https://t.co/1s7KtVIPBe
— Dave (@dave_lockerman) 3 April 2019
— Olivia Celina Davies (@OliviaCelinaDa1) 3 April 2019
This is wrong. The world needs to know. "Barbaric to the core': Brunei brings in gay sex stoning lawhttps://t.co/Emeo7XDq0o
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) 3 April 2019
We stand with the LGBTQ community in solidarity. Loving someone isn't a crime and we don't support anyone who says otherwise.
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