Target: United States Trade Representative Michael Froman
Goal: Urge the federal government to cease trade with Brunei in order to pressure the nation to repeal inhumane laws
Citizens of Brunei are facing a tough crackdown on their basic human rights due to the enforcement of a new penal code under sharia law. Sharia law is a term associated with the use of religion to determine criminal law in both public and private matters. In this instance it is being used to justify brutally punishing citizens for homosexuality, abortion and having children out of wedlock. People who violate sharia law can subjected to public humiliation and death by stoning. While sharia law has ties to old Islamic traditions, in this day and age such brutality simply should not take place.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who rules Brunei and who called for the new penal code, is one of the wealthiest men in the world with a lot of political and financial ties to the United States. He owns several properties including the famous Beverly Hills Hotel. While the Beverly Hills City Council has asked the Sultan to sell all properties in their city because of his inhumane laws, it is unlikely this action alone will cause him to abandon his commitment to sharia law.
By keeping the Sultan from gaining profits from properties owned throughout the United States the federal government would demonstrate its commitment to human rights, and help stop sharia law in Brunei. Urge trade officials and investors to cut ties with Brunei and to ban the Sultan and his investment groups from conducting business in the United States until the full repeal of his unjust penal code.
Dear Mr. Froman,
The Sultan of Brunei has implemented inhumane laws that take away the basic rights of his citizens. People who violate his new penal code, justified under sharia law, may be subject to public humiliation and even death by stoning. There is no question as to whether or not the implementation of these laws must be immediately stopped.
While the Beverly Hills City Council has asked the Sultan to sell his properties in the city this act alone is unlikely to compel him to retract sharia law. The United States government needs to step in and make the Sultan realize that he is being unnecessarily cruel and inhumane to his own people.
I call on you to ban or place strict limits on the amount of business that Brunei officials can conduct in the United States. The Sultan’s influence and wealth, which may cause him to feel immune to criticism, would both be impacted by trade limits. When he understands that such human rights violations will not be tolerated by his trade partners he will be motivated to cease the use of inhumane laws to govern his people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Minnaert via Wikipedia Commons