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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yemen vice squad shuts down Chinese restaurants

I can understand the massage parlors, but...Chinese restaurants?
Yemeni religious police were out in force Tuesday in a major crackdown that saw many massage parlors and Chinese restaurants in the capital Sanaa shut down for allegedly promoting prostitution and vice.

The Yemeni religious police, modeled after Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, targeted popular tourist areas in Sanaa.

Authorities dragged Chinese women working in several spas and restaurants to the streets and sealed the businesses after posting a sign reading "closed by the authorities," an eyewitness told Al Arabiya.
I never understood how these people aren't allowed to look at women but are allowed to manhandle them.
The number of Chinese restaurants and spas in the capital has increased significantly in the capital despite the fact that none of them have a legal work permits or Ministry of Health authorization, said an official who supervised the clampdown but spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another official who also requested his name be withheld also confirmed that there are documents and evidence that massage parlors were used as a façade for prostitution and that this is the main source of income.

"These spas are not equipped like other health centers," he told Al Arabiya. "All that they are equipped with is Asian half-naked women and rooms with spot lights that are supposedly for massage but in fact are used for prostitution and drinking."
And some fascinating background information:

The crackdown comes in the wake of a new committee established in June 2008 to alert police about violations of Sharia, or Islamic, law and help track down places and people who spread “vice” in society.

The special panel of Islamic scholars and tribal chiefs, known as the Virtue and Vice Committee, is headed by Sheikh Abdul-Majeed al-Zindani, head of the Imam University in Sanaa and founder of the Saudi-based Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunnah.

Zindani, who is on the United States wanted list of suspected terrorists, previously issued a fatwa sanctioning the demolition of a house in a Sanaa suburb whose owner was accused of running a prostitution network. Members of the committee joined forces with neighbors to demolish the house.
The main Islamic leader is also a terrorist? Who woulda thunk it?