Posted: Apr 14, 2019 7:45 am
by tuco
Spearthrower wrote:There's an interesting contemporary situation here: Brunei.

It's been a Muslim nation for 600+ years, gained independence from colonial period 70 years ago, but it wasn't until 2013 that the notion of imposing Sharia Law was raised, and obviously as everyone knows, the 2nd phase of which occurred recently and caused international condemnation.

So there's 2 parts to consider here: why have they only just implemented this, and why are they the only S. E. Asian Muslim nation to have implemented Sharia into their penal code?

I'd say that the first has 2 components, one of which is connected with that cultural assimilation discussed - in the past, it simply was not culturally acceptable, but the general beliefs of the populace have changed to the point where it now sits well with them (accepting of course that it's not exactly been implemented via a democratic process), and the 2nd is international stakes where implementation was forestalled to remain part of the trans-Pacific trade pact which has now been thrown into turmoil with the US's withdrawal.

The 2nd question strikes more to the point here. It's heterogeneity; something which certain pundits routinely fail to acknowledge as they conceive of homogeneous, essentialized caricatures of the 'other'. Islam is not one thing, it's not an ideologically united monolith, and moderate versions of it are not a myth.

Not only in the case of Brunei, seems to be a common denominator for other systems including democratic, wealth is probably another factor contributing to let's say social coherence with the monarch. Brunei is said to be a golden cage.

We can only speculate, but that is perhaps why tightening the screws, though not aimed at the economy, comes in this time when economic future seems less stable. We could speculate further that potential isolation from the West would push Brunei towards China but that is for another thread.