Malaysian lovers nabbed in anti-Valentine's drive

February 15, 2011 12:53

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Islamic morality police in Malaysia on Monday detained 40 unmarried Muslim couples in hotel rooms during Operation Valentine, aimed at curbing illegal premarital sex.

Scores of officers raided budget hotels during the evening, detaining unmarried Muslim couples who were sharing rooms, according to Mohamad Rais Rashid with the Islamic Department of the central Malaysian state of Selangor.

Rais said 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.

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