I have just read two superb articles regarding the above issue that should also be read by others. One is by a lawyer who blogs under the name snakebite. see his take here. I think this is good caveat. The other one is written by Zaid Ibrahim which i think is a very clear-headed analysis. Read his take here. Ye lah, jangan kita anggap yang mempunyai tanggapan dan pandangan yang berlainan sebagai musuh Islam.
I have to make clear my stand on this issue. This issue caught the attention of many quite a way back as it happened in Cherating about 30 minutes drive from Kuantan towards Kemaman. I have not commented on this issue at all preferring to stay away from legal intricacies which are not my cup of tea.
Yesterday morning I posted a short essay commenting on the issue. I did not question in any way the jurisdiction or the capacity of the shariah courts in administering this form of punishment. I am concerned however on whether when this punishment becomes a precedent; they will be able to execute the same punishment without fear or favour.
To my mind, there is no difference in practice whether the caning meted out is the Islamic way or civil way as the wrongdoer is willing to accept the punishment. So, to her it is academic whether the caning is to be done in way A or B. The fact is she will be caned and a certain part of her anatomy will taste rotan. The pain will not be any lesser even if it's called Islamic and for educational purposes.
The way as to how it is done and the requirements under the administration of Islamic laws in Pahang has been written succinctly by my blogger friend Dongtalk, here. Nothing needs to be added to supplant its clarity. However, may I add, this is only the theoretical part. We may be interested also to read the blogger Art Harun's take here. Coincidentally both are law graduates. Dongtalk is a former magistrate and Art Harun I believe is a practising lawyer.
Readers may want to share some pictures about how caning is carried out. Bear in mind that this form of caning is for educational purposes.
Personally, the irony of the statement 'caning for educational purposes' doesn't escape me. Since the lower social groups are generally uneducated, they must be educated. The privileged groups are assumed to be educated, hence no caning is necessary. Perhaps, this explains the paradox as to why punishments of this kind seemed to target a particular socio-economic group.
I support the caning as not only it conforms to the edicts of Shariah laws but the person caned will also want to see, whether in future, all offenders for the same wrong will be dealt the same. 'All' means, Pharisees and philistines, more Islamic and less Islamic, good and bad believers. This probably explains her willingness to undergo the punishment. In the name of justice, I hope this punishment will be applied across the board.