Kuala Lumpur, Feb 22 (ANI): Selangor mufti Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid has asked Muslims to respect the decision by the Shariah court which meted out caning sentences to three Muslim women recently for having illicit sex.
"If Muslims themselves do not respect the decision by the Shariah court and offer contradicting views on the matter, how do we make non-Muslims respect our laws," he said.
Abdul Wahid said the public needed to understand that the caning sentence according to syariah was light and did not cause severe injury.
"The objective of the caning is for other Muslims to take heed and not repeat the crime, which in this case was zina (illicit sexual relations)," the New Strait Times quoted him, as saying.
Abdul Wahid added that caning under Shariah also required that the sentence be carried out before witnesses to ensure it was meted out properly.
"There is a misconception that Muslim men engaging in illicit sexual relations are not punished the same way or are not punished at all. This is not true, the same punishment is also meted out to men," he added.
Penang mufti Datuk Hassan Ahmad said: "People are often scared by what they do not understand, they are commenting without really understanding the inner workings of Shariah."
Hassan said efforts should be made by all state religious authorities to ensure that the public was educated on the finer details of Shariah.
"Those people who comment and say that we are cruel and inhumane should study and do some extensive research on syariah before giving views," he said.
Three women offenders and four men had been sentenced to caning under section 23 (2) of the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Shariah Criminal Offences Act 1997 (Adultery) by the Kuala Lumpur Shariah High Court between December last year and January this year. (ANI)