As noted in the previous posting on developments in the Maldives, “the way Sharia’s proponents tend to talk about brothels and prostitution as a scare tactic, you’d think every other house on the block was a whorehouse.” Searching our archives on the term “prostitutes” or “whores” turns up these stories, Malaysia’s “Obedient Wives Club,” and warnings that this or that defiance of Sharia will let a thousand brothels bloom.
In all likelihood, it is the mixed company of men and women that suffices to get many such outfits branded as brothels in the current move to shut down all spas and health centers in resorts. One can’t rule out the existence of a “massage parlor” of the wink-wink nudge-nudge variety, but the “threat” here seems deliberately overstated in order to shut down an entire sector of businesses.
“Concern over Maldives spa ‘prostitution’ closures,” from BBC News, December 30 (thanks to Gl):
Tourism operators in the Maldives have expressed concern over a government order to shut down all spas and health centres in resorts.
The ban followed allegations by an opposition Islamist party that spas were being used for prostitution.
Tourism is a key foreign exchange earner for the Maldives.
The islands are a popular destination for wealthy honeymooners and celebrities where luxury rooms can cost up to $12,000 (Â£7,748) a day.
The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry said the ban would harm the economy. It has appealed for a resolution of the issue.
The tourism ministry on Thursday instructed all resort hotels across the hundreds of islands that make up the Maldives to shut down spas and health centres offering beauty treatments and massages with immediate effect.
Last week the opposition Adhaalath party, a conservative religious movement, staged a protest in the capital Male against such spas, arguing that they were being used as brothels.
“An Islamic party has been agitating against spas hoping to embarrass the government,” a senior government figure told the AFP news agency….