Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Islamic "moral police" need to get lives and real jobs

Oh Islam, thy rich traditions have contributed much to the world of science, philosophy, mathematics, cuisine, architecture and much more. I have defended you on many an occasion, but sometimes it just gets too hard.

And that's without even mentioning the thwarted plot by Somali-Australian terrorists allegedly to attack an army base in suburban Sydney which made headline news today. You can read about that elsewhere. Right now I'm more interested in how fundamentalists impact on the insignificant minutiae of ordinary people's lives.

In Malaysia last week an Islamic court sentenced Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (pictured), a 32-year old model, wife and mother, to 6 lashes of the cane and a RM5000 fine. Her heinous crime? She had a beer.

That's right. In Malaysia, the allegedly advanced multicultural democracy where alcohol is freely available, Shukarno was at a hotel nightclub, drinking a beer, when Malaysia's religious police raided the venue.

(Bear in mind here that despite alcohol being haram for Muslims, you walk into any bar or club in Malaysia and you will see plenty of Malays enjoying a drink. And why not, I say. If it is a sin it is between them and God.)

The moral police from the Islamic Affairs Department, and their friends at the National Fatwa Council, are perhaps the most obvious symbols that Malaysia is not quite ready to be considered a modern country. Here are a few examples of their proud track record:

An infamous incident came in 2005 when the fascists from the Islamic Affairs Department raided the popular Zouk nightclub in Kuala Lumpur and detained any Muslims they found there. There emerged claims from dozens of young Muslim women about harassment by these Taliban wannabes, who asked all kinds of intimate questions and requested dates.

After a 2003 raid on another venue, a group of women were put in a truck and taken away to be detained. En route, one of the women named Maslinda Ishak (pictured) requested the truck stop as she needed to relieve herself. She was denied permission and told she would have to do it in the truck instead. After she was forced to do this, one of the officers opened the doors and started taking photos of her in the act. She was later compensated RM100,000 and the man jailed.

In a TIME interview in 2000, Abdul Kadir Che Kob, head of education and research for the Islamic Affairs Department, described homosexuality as "a worse crime than murder". Hundreds of people are arrested every year for committing homosexual acts. (Heterosexual oral sex is also a crime in Malaysia which can carry a sentence of up to 20 years.)

Last year the Fatwa Council issued an edict banning Muslims from practising yoga (it corrupts your faith, apparently). But an even more dangerous threat is the practice of women wearing trousers. Young Muslim women who wore trousers risked becoming sexually active or turning to lesbianism, according to the council. I'm not sure whether it is the design or the material used to make trousers that causes women to develop this insatiable hunger for minge, but clearly trousers are a threat to the, um, fabric of society.(Sudanese courts agree - a number of women were recently flogged in Sudan for wearing them.)

A favourite activity of the religious police is entering the homes of Muslims suspected of having sex before marriage and arresting them. Even non-Muslims are not safe from this; in 2006, American tourist Randal Barnhart and his wife of 42 years, Carol, were woken at 2am when the moral police demanded entry to their rented apartment in Langkawi. They suspected the Barnharts, who are in their 60s, were both unmarried and Muslim (???) - apparently they were confused by Carol's habit of wearing a sarong.

You might wonder how they know so much about the alleged moral perversions all these folks are committing. The answer is spies. Known as the "snoop squad", there are people paid to keep an eye out for immoral acts being committed. It is ironic that in a religion in which the hijab is supposed to guarantee a woman's privacy and protection from being objectified, its moral defenders are so fascinated with what should be people's private personal business.

So compare an unmarried couple who might wish to have consensual sex in private, and the religious spies who loiter around snooping on them, eager for a glimpse of fornication, then burst in demanding to know everyone about their sexual activity.

So tell me, which ones are supposed to the perverts again?


UPDATE (27/8/09): Kartika's caning has been postponed for the month of Ramadan; but Kartika has requested they just do it and get it over with. Read about it here.

Like this article? You might also like:

Malay mob drags cow's head through the streets in protest at Hindu temple

Don't drink in a pub - drink cow's urine instead!

Indonesia's anti-porno laws get stupider and stupider

Is Sarkozy right to want to ban the burqa?

Samir Abu Hamza says raping your wife is all good


  1. all these rules and laws only applies on muslim.

  2. This is true, anonymous, but the point is, why do the rules apply at all? If a Muslim wants to drink alcohol, have premarital sex with his partner, or eat pork, that's a matter between him and God. This does not hurt anyone else, so the State has no business sticking its nose into people's affairs in such a way.
    Besides, Malays have no choice but to be Muslim. So if you are an Indian or Chinese Christian, Buddhist or Hindu, you can choose whether or not you want to drink. Malays, being born Muslim, are never allowed to have that same freedom of choice. That's stupid.