KUALA LUMPUR, MY — (10-30-22) — Malaysia’s Islamic religious police raided an LGBT Halloween party Saturday night, arresting people in the process for cross-dressing and allegedly encouraging illegal vices.

The LGBT community continues to suffer discrimination and brutality with conservative attitudes chipping away at the Muslim-majority nation’s one-time reputation for moderation and tolerance.

Activist Numan Afifi was among those arrested at the event in Kuala Lumpur. He told the AFP news agency that the raid was “traumatizing and harrowing.”

“About 40 religious officers backed by the police came into the venue with some 1,000 participants, and they stopped the music and dance,” said Afifi.

Assistant police commissioner Noor Dellhan Yahaya has since vowed to “step up operations and inspections on clubs promoting homosexuality.”

Opposition politician Carles Santiago called the outrageous raid “harassment against a marginalized community”. “When will we learn to respect and accept people for who they are?” he tweeted.

Human Rights Watch have on numerous occasions slammed Malaysian authorities for discrimination and coming up with programs to “cure” LGBT people.

“These programs jeopardize the equality, dignity, and rights of those who attend them, but also send a dangerous message to the wider public that LGBT people can and should change their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression,” said Human Rights Watch back in August.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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