Anti-Brunei protests stink of rank hypocrisy

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin

Well, it’s difficult to think of anything except Brexit, or non-Brexit as it will be known, at the moment. It has the power to drive most things from the mind until one wants to scream enough!

But looking at the week, the highlight was perhaps George Clooney encouraging members of the public to boycott Brunei-owned hotels including the Dorchester, following the new law on homosexuality imposed on his people by the Sultan of Brunei.

Now obviously from a Christian perspective any law that suggests people should be stoned to death for being gay or adulterous, or indeed for any other reason, is an anathema and frankly, barbarous.

However, Brunei is a Muslim state and the law only applies to Muslims as they were seen to be going against their own religion of Islam.

It doesn’t make it look right to us of course, but on the other hand it would appear to be a consequence of strict application of their religious doctrine. Is it, therefore, any of our business?

In protesting aren’t we being guilty of cultural imperialism and foisting our views and attitudes on a Third World country?

Isn’t that the kind of “imperialism” that the USA is always being accused of? What makes this so different?

It’s a bit like campaigning for votes for women in Afghanistan or for one man one vote in Iraq.

At what point should we start imposing our western views and values on to the rest of the world whether it wants them or not?

Where we’ve done it, it hasn’t always had the desired effect, often because not everyone regards our decadent, western values as superior, culturally or morally to their existing views.

We should be cautious about seeking to impose our views: look at Libya at the moment.

Depose a strong armed tyrant and do you get a western democracy?

No, you get civil war. You would have thought we would have learnt from Iraq but we didn’t.

And now campaigns against Brunei show the same ignorance of how much harm we can create on the world whilst trying to do good!

Yes, we need to make the point to the Sultan that his legal changes are barbarous in a civilised world but we don’t do that by a horde of barbarians clambering all over the front of an hotel in London.

It shows us in as poor a light as him.


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