Brunei Prohibits Non-Muslims to Use 19 Islamic words


WORDS such as “Allah“, “mu’min” (believer) and “masjid” (mosque) cannot be used with regards to another religion besides Islam, said a senior syariah officer yesterday.

Under the Syariah Penal Code Order, there are 19 words which cannot be used with respect to other religions.

They are azanbaitullahAl QuranAllahfatwaFirman AllahhadithHajihukum syara’ilahi;Ka’bahkalimah al syahadahkiblatmasjidimammuftimu’minsolat; and wali.

Hj Hardifadhillah Hj Mohd Salleh, a senior syariah legal officer of the Islamic Legal Unit, yesterday briefed staff of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) on key parts of the Order, which will take effect this April.

Speaking to more than 200 people, the legal officer gave some examples of offences that can apply to non-Muslims such as zina (adultery) with a Muslim partner, drinking alcohol in a public place, andkhalwat (close proximity) with a Muslim partner.

Khalwat is defined in the Order as a non-married couple who are “living together; cohabiting; in confinement; or isolating oneself in close proximity that can lead to suspicion that they are committing an immoral act.”

If convicted, the penalty is a fine of up to $4,000 and/or one year in prison.

For adultery between a married Muslim and a married non-Muslim, both parties can be punished by stoning to death if the offence is proved by confession, or the testimony of four eyewitnesses.

Hj Hardifadhillah added that any person who instigates any Muslim man or woman to divorce, or neglect their duties towards their partner, can be fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed for a year.

Additionally, any Muslim parent who surrenders his child into the care of a non-Muslim can be fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.

Brunei will enforce the Syariah Penal Code Order in three phases.

Present at the briefing was MIPR Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar and other senior officials from the ministry.

The briefing was conducted by officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Attorney General’s Chambers, and Islamic Da’wah Centre yesterday.

Source: The Brunei Times

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