On April 3, Brunei underwent major change: The last of three phases of Islamic law became effective. Beginning in May 2014, Brunei’s law of the land has been transitioning from what was a combination of English common and Islamic law to one of the latter only. Both Muslims and non-Muslims must now strictly comply–or suffer the consequences of violating it.

While transitioning to Shariah in a 64 percent Muslim majority country should be no surprise, it will immediately impact upon those whose activities prior to April 3 were not criminal but are after that date. Committing crimes under Shariah will now trigger very severe penalties.

The Brunei legal system transition allows us the opportunity to observe, from a safe distance, its implementation. We can witness a laboratory experiment in which subjects who once enjoyed numerous freedoms no longer do so, as many of those freedoms previously taken for granted are now restricted. We have the opportunity to obtain a much better understanding concerning the realities of Islamic law. This understanding is important for all non-Muslims, as it also needs to be kept in mind Islam mandates ALL nations – not just Muslim ones – submit to it.

While Brunei is ruled by a sultan, who is not an Islamist, this matters not, as Shariah, in accordance with the Quran’s teachings, dictates what is criminal, mandating an appropriate punishment. There is no moderate interpretation of this. In fact, since the Quran represents the words of Allah, conveyed to Prophet Muhammad through Archangel Gabriel, Islam bans man from interpreting Allah’s words. If the sultan were to provide an interpretation other than what appears in the Quran, he would be committing the sin of imperfect man interpreting the words of a perfect Allah. Supposedly, the words Allah spoke were subsequently recorded in the Quran and should be clear on their face so that no interpretation is needed.

However, over the centuries, this has caused Islamic scholars to tug at their skullcaps as a perfect Allah failed to dictate a perfectly clear Quran. In fact, many conflicting verses exist. Where they do, they usually involve earlier, more tolerant verses and a later, less tolerant ones. This is because the earlier verses were recorded when Muhammad was still attempting to jumpstart Islam and, therefore, had to be more tolerant. The later verses appeared after Islam had achieved traction so tolerance was no longer needed. To resolve this conflict as to which verse controls, 10th century scholars floated the “abrogation” concept. It required the later verses take priority, thus negating the earlier ones. This is why groups like ISIS are extremists as they believe less tolerant interpretations are forbidden by Islam.

Some Brunei residents will undergo an immediate lifestyle change, or run a deadly risk for not doing so.

Prior to April 3, a homosexual lifestyle was not a crime; now it is. Those committing the crime under Shariah are subject to execution by stoning. The penalty applies as well to one committing adultery.

Also occurring with the flip of a switch on April 3, a large group in Brunei relegated to second-class citizenship were women. Their freedom to travel, to inherit property, to divorce, to form a Brunei “#MeToo” movement equivalent, to drive, to have a voice equal to their male counterparts in the Shariah legal system – all became severely limited overnight.

Shariah stacks the deck in favor of male Muslims over females, even when death sentences by stoning are involved. Stoning involves placing the condemned in a freshly dug hole, back filling it and then allowing observers to throw stones. However, a caveat provides that a condemned person who manages successfully to escape as stones are thrown is allowed to go free. Women are severely disadvantaged in this regard as they are buried up to their necks while men are buried only to their waists, making escape for the latter much easier than for the former.

While those of us in the West may simply shrug our shoulders at what is happening in Brunei, believing what a majority Muslim population chooses to do in their own country is up to them, we ignore it at our own peril. For Western states that have opened their doors to Muslim migrants are undergoing similar transition but failing to realize it.

Muslim immigrants settling in the West are advised by their leaders not to assimilate. Thus, certain cities in the West have become magnets for newly arriving Muslims who then establish areas known as “no-go zones.” Non-Muslim natives – in their own country – are dissuaded from entering them. Many zones have effectively become isolated “Fort Apaches”– functioning “as microstates governed by Islamic Shariah law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.” A book by Raheem Kassam details how they have spread throughout the West, making their way to the U.S. These zones continue to grow as more immigrants settle in, achieving “occupation without tanks or soldiers.”

No-go zones have made so much headway in Sweden, a local imam there brazenly claims, “Sweden is the best Islamic state.”

Meanwhile, in New York City, Muslim community patrols, wearing NYPD-like uniforms and driving NYPD-like vehicles, roam Staten Island and Brooklyn – home of large Muslim communities – looking for signs of Islamophobia. While other minority groups have patrols as well, they have not taken on the authoritative NYPD appearance nor, as has been reported about the Muslim patrols, have they harassed locals for non-compliance with religious dictates.

In laboratory experiments, medical researchers often utilize mice since they closely replicate many human conditions and, having short lifespans, allow quick study. Shariah’s full transition into Brunei provides us a similar opportunity for a quick study on Islamic law’s impact upon citizens raised in a previously less-controlling environment. As researchers, we should carefully analyze the Brunei results.

Close analysis should allow us to reach the obvious conclusiong: Shariah should not be given breathing room to grow in the West.

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