Brunei … A New Low (Week 13)

Sharia Law Time Magazine Cover

I chose to base my Week 13 post on a real-life occurrence: the adoption of sharia law in Brunei’s penal system. Brunei is a southeast Asian country with Islam as its official, state religion. On May 1, 2014, it was announced that Brunei will use a system of sharia law in punishing its 400,000 citizens. Punishments will include flogging, dismemberment, and death by stoning.

My illustration is a mock cover page for Time Magazine, with the title, “Brunei … A New Low.” In my illustration, I have included a timeline of important political events in Brunei’s history, placing each event on an imaginary y-axis based on my idea of how positive or negative the event is overall. For example, in 1984, Brunei gained its independence from the imperialistic stronghold of England, an event which I consider to be very positive (both for Brunei and for the international community). Conversely, one of Brunei’s foremost public officials and a member of the royal family was found guilty of misusing state funds in 2000; since this is most certainly a negative event, it is lower on the y-axis. I consider Brunei’s adoption of sharia law to be one of its most negative events, and therefore, it is placed lowest on the y-axis.

This week’s blog post is simply a social commentary about how sharia law will be a major setback for Brunei. Although the United States’ penal system is flawed in its own respects, a system in which citizens can virtually be tortured should be outlawed by all nations of the world.

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