A short documentary — produced by UK’s Channel 4 recently — on khalwat raids in the country is making waves on social media.
Posted on its Facebook page last night, the video shows journalist Marcel Theroux with enforcement officers from a state Islamic department on a midnight round to check on hotel registers and haul up Muslims found to have committed khalwat (close proximity).
The documentary, titled “Muslim, Trans and banned” was produced under its “Unreported World” segment. It has so far received over 4,100 shares.
“We suspect that they are going to do something immoral between them,” an officer said. “Obviously, if they are not married, we will arrest them and bring them to our office for further investigation.”
Also on their list — transgenders.
“A man should behave like a man and a woman should behave like a woman. We must respect the divine laws and sharia laws,” an officer said.
“On one hand, you want to be respectful of another person’s culture, and then on the other hand, you remember being 24 years old and you think is it possible for me, as an adult, being arrested for being in a hotel room with my girlfriend?” a conflicted Theroux says in the video.
Those found guilty of khalwat face a jail term of up to two years.
Perlis Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin had, in December last year, spoken about his view on khalwat raids, saying “wrongdoings must be seen clearly by anti-vice enforcement officers without needing to snoop”.
His comments came after moderate Muslim group G25 spokesperson Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin spoke against such raids, stating that “personal sins” like khalwat should not be punishable by the state.
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