Morality police put a damper on Valentine’s
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For dozens of couples celebrating Valentine’s Day in Malaysia, festivities were quickly halted as the Islamic morality police in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur gathered up and arrested the unmarried pairs.
Operation Valentine has happened every year since 2005 when it became illegal to observe the holiday in the country.
This ploy is carried out by a group whose purpose is to enforce adherence to Sharia Law. When people mess up and the morality police find out, they arrest them and put them on trial.
The V-Day lovers are being tried for close proximity, which is illegal according to the law. If they are found guilty, they could spend the next two years in prison.
Having a police force that deals with morality issues seems strange to us as Americans living in a free world where immorality has long been accepted as part of the culture.
TV ads, music lyrics and public displays of sexuality in the U.S. look a lot different today than they did 50 years ago. The American public has embraced freedom so much that it has blurred the lines between right and wrong, good and bad.
But is it better to have a group focused on enforcing proper behavior or to let people figure it out and run wild until they do?
Having morality police officers busting down hotel doors on Valentine’s Day is pretty extreme. They are scaring the public into making wise choices by threatening to arrest them if they slip up.
If it’s necessary to have a police force watching the actions of a religious group, how genuine is that religion? Are the people choosing right from wrong because they earnestly desire to please a higher being, or simply because it’s not worth the consequences of a moment of rebellion?
On the other hand, according to nationmaster.com, a website hosting stats on worldwide crime, Malaysia has one of the highest percentages of police per capita and one of the lowest percentages of total crime.
Maybe they’ve tapped into something. People following good moral consciences are less likely to dabble in crime. By having a police force that cracks down on moral issues, they are preventing crime.
Here in the United States, we have no morality police, and the U.S. has one of the highest total crime rates per capita according to nationmaster.com, which listed it in the number six slot of highest crime rates.
Maybe the Islamic morality police are overbearing and infringing on people’s freedom to express love, but they might just be doing some good, too.
Their religion is taken seriously. People follow all the teachings of Muhammad instead of adopting only rules that benefit themselves, as some in American Christianity are prone to do.
They have a lower crime rate, which means an overall safer environment for the citizens of Malaysia.
Thankfully, citizens in the United States are promised rights that would protect them from the rule of morality police, but that means there is a much greater need for personal responsibility in making wise decisions.