George Clooney proposed boycotting nine hotels owned by Brunei over the sultan’s implementation of sharia law. Bill Maher called that “chicken S**t tokenism. Read Clarion Project Editor Meira Svirsky’s take on the subject:
In response to stiff opposition to a draconian sharia penal code set to go into effect April 3 – including stoning to death gays and adulterers – the sultan of Brunei has doubled down on his resolve to implement the laws.
“The [Sharia] Law, apart from criminalizing and deterring acts that are against the teachings of Islam, also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race,” said his office in a statement.
The laws, which also include amputation for theft and the death penalty for apostasy, were adopted in 2014 and rolled out in phases. April 3 marks their full enactment.
Non-Muslims, who make up about one-third of Brunei’s population of 420,000, will also be subject to a number of aspects of the laws. Those specified so far include punishments for wearing indecent clothing that “disgraces Islam.”
This offense comes with a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,600 or both. At present, all women – Muslim or not – must wear a hijab if they work for the government or attend official functions.
In addition, non-Muslims are not allowed to take care of Muslim children, eat or drink in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan, proselytize, bring Christian materials into the country or even use words like Allah (God) and firman Allah (God’s word), which are found in the bibles commonly used by Bruneian Christians.
All Bruneians were warned they can be prosecuted for criticizing the new laws, as was prevalent of late on social media in the country.
Criticism of the sharia punishments came fast and swift from the West, whose Leftist torchbearers mainly honed in on the punishments for homosexuality:
Stoning people to death for homosexuality or adultery is appalling and immoral. Every single person on earth is entitled to be treated with dignity and to live without fear. There is no excuse—not culture, not tradition—for this kind of hate and inhumanity. https://t.co/g208NzeS7l
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 29, 2019
In an article in Deadline Hollywood, Oscar-winning actor George Clooney called for a boycott of the nine super-luxury hotels owned by the sultan:
“Brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay. Let that sink in. Every single time we stay or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.
Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws … But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens? I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”
At least one Leftist icon wasn’t buying it. Bill Maher blasted Clooney for calling for the boycott, labeling it “chicken s**t tokenism” and “virtue signaling.”
“What about Saudi Arabia? If you really want to get back at them, stop driving, don’t use oil,” Maher raged, adding. “It’s Sharia Law, which is some version of the law in most Muslim-majority countries.”
Is Maher correct? I would respond with a resounding “no.”
In the face of evil, should we roll over and play dead if we can’t destroy it in one fell swoop?
Maher’s objection is that Clooney’s boycott won’t make any difference. “This idea that the Sultan of Brunei is going over the receipts from the Polo Lounge. ‘Oh no, we only sold two soups today’,” Maher asserted sarcastically.
Yet, that’s not the point of Clooney’s boycott.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the war against political Islam – of which sharia law is its very real manifestation – is not simply a physical war.
Witness the fact that the destruction of ISIS in Syria and Iraq has done little to dim the aspirations of the group and its followers.
There is another war that must be won to eradicate this phenomenon from global institutions and governments, and that is the ideological war.
Of course Clooney’s boycott – even if he succeeded in closing all nine of the hotels — will not put a dent in the sultan’s $20 billion estimated worth. What Clooney can and hopefully will affect is people’s consciousness.
It is almost 18 years since those with the same Islamist ideology crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City killing close to 3,000 people. Yet how many Americans are aware that Brunei’s sharia punishments – along with Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s – are part of this equation?
With that consciousness, might more movements be started – each with its own goals? Might more financial pressure be put on other institutions that support Islamist movements and governments?
The U.S. embarked on its own oil business to significantly reduce its dependency on Saudi Arabian oil. At the end of 2018, a headline on msn.com read, “US ends its reliance on foreign oil for the first time in 75 years.”
The article noted the U.S. turned into a net oil exporter, marking a “pivotal…moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as ‘energy independence’.” This new reality has been due to an “unprecedented boom in American oil production.”
Will the consciousness of more Americans regarding the reality of sharia law help support and further those projects? Will this expanded consciousness be a factor in whom they choose to represent them in Congress? Hopefully, it will.
“Results” such as these can be the trickle-down impact of Clooney’s boycott in real time.
By refusing to take political action, arm-chair critics such as Maher and S.E. Cupp, a CNN host, who joined him on the show, are the very enablers Islamists depend on to push through their agendas.
On the show, Cupp called Clooney “hypocritical,” yet the only hypocrite visible in this story is the sultan of Brunei, whom, along with his brother Prince Jefri, were dubbed “constant companions in hedonism.”
The extravagant parties of the sultan are an open secret. Vegas showgirls and high-end escorts are often flown in for “entertainment.” In a lawsuit brought by Prince Jefri in a U.S. court , a scandal erupted when the prince attempted to prevent the court from seeing pictures of erotic life-sized statues of himself that show him “in the act.”
While a good part of the Muslim world suffers from extreme poverty, the sultan of Brunei spent $27 million on his 50th birthday.
How sharia-compliant is all that?