The Syariah Courts could not be entrusted with matters of “life and limb” under hudud law because they fumble over divorce cases, said Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) director Dr Farouk Musa.

“If they cannot try and solve even these simple issues about sustenance (nafkah), like wives being left by husbands for years and years and having to go to court every one or two months just to get RM250 of sustenance for her and for her kids...

“They cannot even solve these issues, do you think they can solve those involving our limbs and our lives? I doubt so,” he said.

He was speaking at a forum themed ‘Understanding Key Challenges and Opportunities in Building a Better Malaysia’ today, where he was asked why should non-Muslims oppose hudud since it does not affect them.

NGO Forum Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) director Dr Farouk MusaIn his response, Farouk (left) mentioned that even if the wife presents police reports and medical evidence of domestic abuse to the Syariah Court and asks for a divorce, the husband merely needs to deny it under oath and the case would be closed.

“It is as simple as that. Where is justice?” he said during the forum, which had about 100 participants.

Farouk also said that it “does not make sense” to have separate laws for the same crime, for example if two accomplices to a crime were caught - one a Muslim and one a non-Muslim.

In addition, he said that in countries where hudud had been implemented, the victims are “basically” women and the poor.

“It is never the rich and people of higher authority,” he said.

He said that Oxford Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan had taken up this issue and had urged for a moratorium on hudud throughout the Muslim world.

“We have to understand that the sole idea or higher intention is to establish justice, and justice will never be established under the current prevailing system,” he said of the call for a moratorium.