Everywhere I’ve looked today I’ve come across this story about a Malaysian woman who is getting caned for drinking beer. Oh, temptation! The BBC reports: “Malaysia’s majority Malays are subject to Islamic laws, while the large Chinese and Indian minorities are not.” Presumably, Ms. Kartika Shukarno was busted getting sloshed in a non-Islamic bar (Islamic bars only serve iced tea, I take it). Her punishment, caning, is (according to Wikipedia, which has an entire article on caning in Malaysia) the second most severe form of punishment in Malaysia–after the death penalty.
The bizzarre twist in the story comes when we learn that her sentence has been postponed until after Ramadan. Clearly, this is Islam’s version of compassion. It’s a dull story in my opinion, considering all the truly outrageous and awful things that happen in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, not to mention Iran, for similar “crimes.” But wait, here’s the finale:
Ms Kartika, a 32-year old trained nurse and mother of two, asked last week that her caning be administered in public. She had told reporters she was calm about the prospect and was willing to be caned because she respected the law.
I respect the BBC for its ability to tell this story with a straight face. If Ms. Kartika indeed respects the law, then why was she sneaking a swig of beer in the first place? Doesn’t she know that old wives’ tale about the woman and the serpent? At this point, I invite anyone reading to chant the infidel mantra with me, “It’s a beer! It’s a beer! You medieval dickwads–it’s a fucking beer!!“