Reflections on the recent events : Of Kartika Sari and the Cow-head Protest
1. On the Morality of the punishment of Shariah flogging imposed on Kartika Sari.
There is consensus amongst the main and established Mazhabs (schools) of Islamic Law, the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`I and Hanbali Mazhabs that consumption of liquor is a Hudud offence which comes with a mandatory punishment. The form of punishment for this particular offence has been agreed upon by scholars as being a uniquely Islamic form of flogging (much less severe than conventional flogging), although they differ as to the actual number to be imposed with the some holding the number at 40 and others 80 strokes. It is trite in Islamic law that once an offence is prescribed with definite punishments as with the Hudud offences, there is no more any room for discretionary considerations. The punishments are mandatory. No issue of the gender of the offender or whether it is a first time offence and of course, never an issue of whether this position is contrary to other value systems whether they are termed as human rights, universal values, humanity, decency, etc.