Government Moves to Curb Islamic Watchdogs

March 25, 2005

Source: Khaleej Times

Wire Service: AP

On March 25, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Malaysia has moved to limit the powers of its Islamic morality watchdogs, saying their overzealous work is violating civil rights and could turn the country into a Taleban-era Afghanistan. The religious department, whose officers conduct raids on public venues to prevent immoral behavior among Muslims, have come under severe criticism recently for raiding public and private premises to haul up couples suspected of breaking Islamic morality rules. Nazri Abdul Aziz, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told reporters Thursday that the religious department officials will now have to obtain approval from the police before conducting raids. 'Someone must be accountable for anything that happens during the raids,' Nazri said, adding that police officers must also accompany such raids."