December 2013 Church & State | AU Bulletin

The tiny kingdom of Brunei is set to enforce a harsh brand of Islamic law in 2014.

Compared to other majority Muslim states in Southeast Asia, Brunei already enforces a more conservative interpretation of Islam, Reuters reported. The sale of alcohol is banned, and proselytization by other faiths is a criminal offense.

Under the new laws, penalties could include death by stoning for adultery, flogging for alcohol consumption and amputation for theft. Sentences would be left to the sole discretion of judges versed in sharia.

“It is because of our need that Allah the Almighty, in all his generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilize them to obtain justice,” the kingdom’s sultan, 67-year-old Hassanal Bolkiah, said in announcing the policy change.