Brunei defends move to implement syariah law amid global outrage

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Brunei's implementation of syariah law sparked a backlash, with critics accusing the country of targeting the LGBT community, but Bruneians say detractors are welcomed to visit the tiny sultanate and see the real situation for themselves.
Brunei Foreign Affairs Minister II Erywan Pehin Yusof said the current outcry over the Syariah Penal Code Order likely stemmed from people who do not fully comprehend Brunei's culture and way of life. PHOTO: RUDOLF PORTILLO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Amid global uproar over Brunei's move to implement syariah law, the country's government is stressing that the new legislation is not meant to discriminate, urging critics to hold back before they see how it is implemented.

In a series of interviews with The Straits Times in Bandar Seri Begawan this week, Brunei's second foreign minister, attorney-general, religious affairs minister and mufti issued a full-throated defence of the law - for the first time sharing details of how it works and the government's rationale for it.

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