We Americans shake our head at the very thought of the state determining what is moral and what is not…..kinda craps all over the freedom of choice huh?
And we are warned about the creeping Shariah Law that is foreseen on the horizon (by some)….the laws like those in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…..like no music, no religious tolerance, women are second class citizens. etc etc.
But KSA is by no means alone in the pursuit of morality……
Police forces tasked with implementing strict state interpretations of Islamic morality exist in several other states, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Malaysia.
Many – especially those with an affinity with Western lifestyles – chafe against such restrictions on daily life, but others support the idea, and growing religious conservatism has led to pressure for similar forces to be created in countries that do not have them.
Here are some places where “morality police” forces patrol:
But a century ago North American cities like Toronto (that is Canada) had a “morality police”…..
William Howland, mayor between 1886 and 1887, established the Morality Department, known as the Office of the Staff Inspector. It was responsible for patrolling any instances of infractions of public order, which were quite diverse: public drunkenness, houses of ill fame, gambling, cruelty against women and children (which included abortion and infanticide), and perhaps most importantly, prostitution, which will be the focus here.
And the idea of social control never died out…..even here in the US, even today, we have our version of the “morality police”…….that’s right…..a “moral patrol”……
In the United States, the Morality Police regulate everything from the color of hair to what people do in their bedrooms.
A high school in Missouri recently suspended a student for having “unnatural” hair color. The student, a junior, is a natural redhead, but she decided to dye her hair auburn. Unfortunately, the commercial hair dye gave her what the school administrators thought was an unnatural color of red.
That high school isn’t the only one with Puritanical rules. School administrators and their elected school boards throughout the country have somehow given themselves the right to create and enforce rules that prohibit students from wearing clothes that could impede the learning of other students. It might be logical to ban girls from wearing short-shorts and halter tops to class. Or, maybe guys who, on a hot day, decide to embarrass themselves and others by wearing nothing but Speedos to Biology class.
My point is that there will always be those “religious sorts” that think they have a grasp on morality…..but that is a matter of opinion and in this society we still have the Freedom of Choice.
And since I have the freedom I choose to ignore these societal slugs.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”