Malaysian lovers nabbed in anti-Valentine's drive
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Islamic morality police in Malaysia have detained 40 unmarried Muslim couples in hotel rooms during Operation Valentine, aimed at curbing illegal premarital sex.
Mohamad Rais Rashid with the Islamic Department of the central Malaysian state of Selangor says scores of officers raided budget hotels Monday evening, detaining unmarried Muslim couples who were sharing rooms.
Rais said Tuesday the detained would likely be charged with "khalwat," or "close proximity," which is described under Shariah law as when unmarried couples are alone together in a private place.
Authorities carry out raids each year on Valentine's Day in this Muslim-majority country, after the main Islamic body issued an edict in 2005 banning Muslims from celebrating what it said was a day synonymous with vice.