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The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of the landmarks in Brunei. Brunei recently announced punishing gay sex by stoning offenders to death. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Harsh punishments under Sharia are modern interpretations of an ancient tradition

Some Islamic nations, including Brunei, have harsh punishments under Sharia. In pre-modern times, Sharia was rarely used as criminal law, and standard of proof for any prosecution was very high.
A mosque in Herat, Afghanistan was attacked on Aug. 1, 2017. Mohammad Shoib/Reuters

What is the Shia-Sunni divide?

There have been several attacks on Shia mosques in several parts of the world. At its heart is the centuries'-old sectarian Shia-Sunni divide.

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