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Islamic Sharia Laws ( 26 March 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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On Hudud, Theft and Intellectual Property




By Hafidz Baharom

26 March 2015

Over the weekend, I've made my stance on the implementation of Hudud or the Sharia penal code. I am against it. Now, many have said these are the laws of God.

I have said that I do not adhere to this so-called “God codex of laws”.

Many were open to accusing me of being anti-Islam for not adhering to its teachings. So I wish to put these people to the test, since they are all diehard Muslims who believe in the laws as God and Kelantan's government have willed it. So, let's start.

Theft according to the Sharia penal code or Hudud is punishable through the amputation of the right hand if the value of the items meet the value criteria set. In this case, more than four plus grammes of gold.

 In this day and age, we are all thieves. And in the case of intellectual property it is extremely obvious. Piracy is theft. And I am a pirate of cyberspace.

I have downloaded movies, music albums, books and even television series worth millions in value. I have in the past bought DVDs from the DVD seller when it was still available.

I have in the past photocopied books while in university for not wanting to buy the book outright. In addition, I also stream television shows using Hulu and Netflix which is not yet in the country and thus, is a theft of intellectual property.

Similarly in this day and age, leeching off someone's WiFi is also a theft of data usage. It would also apply to you using your company's Internet services to open up your social media accounts if they had disallowed it.

These are all examples of theft of intellectual property and breaching copyright laws that is rampant in Malaysia.

And if any Muslim is brave enough to support the implementation of Hudud law, then they should well admit it.

And before you claim that it was beyond your wealth to watch or legally acquire these items, let us be frank; you could afford broadband. You well could afford a movie ticket or a book.

Of course, you could now claim that you have repented and would never do it again. Good. I'm sure you will now use less bandwidth on your personal broadband connections at home.

But after today, since you know it is a crime after reading this and have now repented, you have no excuse for doing it again.

So if you ever get that itch to torrent again, dearest holier than thou Muslims who adhere to the hudud penal code, to the core of your very souls out of fear of eternal damnation, please cut off your right hands if you ever open Piratebay.

After all, you all are openly admitting to supporting it as the laws as God proclaims. You should be brave and wise enough to admit it and take the punishment for your beliefs.

Also, the Malaysian Medical Association has said since last year they would not be allowing doctors perform hudud amputations. This is what I meant by not supporting so called God's law. It is not against God himself.

It is because I know what I do in trying to read almost anything on the Internet through torrenting books and magazines from around the world is theft. Unless you download Paulo Coelho, where he has openly supported the downloading of his books via torrents.

I will not support hudud because I support the free flow of information, not just the transparency of governments, but also in the case of access to media. I do not support the limiting of information in the form of green dams, or barring access to torrenting websites, or even torrenting itself.

As such, I refuse to consider the implementation of hudud law, let alone any expansionary law on intellectual property or even access to the worldwide web.

So to those who insist on supporting hudud, while still being hypocritical on the fact that they are thieving in this modern age, I suggest you reconsider your stances right now.

Hafidz Baharom is a social observer who has ruffled more than a few feathers. He has written for a number of publications, and is always looking to stir up discussions on things which need to be said.