The current state of affairs in Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy accusation is somewhere between funny and terrible. I am having a hard time believing that Malaysian politics has stooped to this level. As far as I can tell, this is what’s going on:
First, Anwar’s accuser, Saiful, has challenged Anwar through Friendster to swear on the Quran that he didn’t have homosexual intercourse with Saiful. Anwar has refused to do so.
Second, in addition to continuing to deny the charges that he’s committed sodomy, Anwar has reported his accuser to the sharia courts for having falsely accused him of committing sodomy (false witness, or qazaf). (Malaysia has sharia courts that rule on some aspects of family and personal law for Muslims.) Anwar’s decision here is actually pretty genius. Here’s why: Under the sharia code in Malaysia, to support his claim of sodomy Saiful must provide four male witnesses or a confession from the accused. It’s unlikely that he will be able to do this, which I gather might itself be sufficient to charge Saiful with qazaf.
I have seen reports that response from the Saiful camp is that the accusation is not of consensual intercourse, but rather of rape. I’m not sure what the standard of evidence would be if this is the official charge. But I have also seen that Anwar’s response to this response is that Saiful is larger than Anwar, so rape is impossible.
In all, an embarrassing saga of charges and countercharges that would be a lot funnier if it weren’t so terrible.
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