Islamic Malaysia’s Sharia Police Make Mass Arrests at Giant LGBT Halloween Party

Malaysia’s Islamic religious police on Saturday night raided a large Halloween party in Kuala Lumpur attended by LGBT activists, arresting 18 of the roughly 1,000 attendees for anti-Muslim offences. saria law, including confrontation and misconduct.

Activist Numan Afifi said a squad of 40 “religious police”, backed by regular police, entered the club where the party was held and ordered the music and dancing to stop. They then divided the attendees into Muslim and non-Muslim groups, arrested some of the Muslims for trespassing saria law, and took them to the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department for questioning. Those arrested were released later in the evening but are expected to return to answer more questions.

Malaysia, which is about 60 percent Muslim, has a “dual track” justice system in which “morality police” can arrest Muslim citizens for violating Islamic law. The religion of every citizen is clearly stated on their state identity card. The religious police have a disturbing story for excessive prosecution and false accusations.

Islamic Legal Code of Malaysia defines that “any man who in any public place wears women’s clothing and presents himself as a woman for immoral purposes may be charged with an offense and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of up to RM1,000 (about US$211) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.”

Afifi called the experience “traumatic and painful”, an example of “outrageous state oppression”.

“They singled out the Muslim participants and identified anyone who didn’t dress according to the gender they thought they were – but of course it’s Halloween, people dressed up in costumes, so they weren’t all cross,” she said. he said.

“This targeted prosecution against the LGBTQ+ community has the potential to spark hate crimes,” opposition MP Charles Santiago said in response to the Halloween party raid.

“I call on the authorities to stop chasing them like they are criminals,” Santiago said.

“We have people who are still suffering from job losses. is the ringgit weak; the economy needs revitalization. But you’re using resources to hunt down people who were at a Halloween party?” he asked incredulously.

“These people are not criminals,” argued human rights lawyer Siti Kassim. “Oppression and discrimination against LGBT people must stop immediately.”

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