Well-connected parents cry foul after religious police round up their offspring Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is in a tight spot after local media whipped up a storm over a raid on an upmarket nightclub by religious police under his control. Outraged upper-class parents are demanding that Mr Abdullah rein in the religious police after their sons and daughters were detained during the raid. But if Mr Abdullah takes action against the police under the Islamic Religious Department, he risks upsetting the country's influential religious scholars. 'The raid is legal and lawful, and provided for in the Koran,' said one senior cleric. 'Read the Koran and you will understand.' Malaysia's religious police usually confine themselves to checking for adulterers in cheap hotels, or spotting couples kissing in public parks. But the weekend raid on the AG nightclub in Kuala Lumpur - a popular meeting point for children of the country's elite - has drastically raised their profile. It was not clear who ordered the raid, but there is speculation that a political opponent of Mr Abdullah was behind it. The revellers were held overnight after being arrested and accused of 'indecent behaviour'. For the men, this involved drinking alcohol. For the women, it meant wearing clothes considered forbidden under Islamic codes. The police have issued the youths with notices to appear before a religious panel for 'counselling' to put them back on the 'path of Islam'. If they refuse, they will be charged under the Federal Territory Islamic Enactment and fined up to M$2,000 ($4,100). That has come as a particular shock to the youngsters and their parents as it has never been used before and is seen more as a gesture to the country's fundamentalists. The move by the religious police sparked a furious reaction from well-connected parents, many of whom have protested to their contacts in Mr Abdullah's administration. 'My daughter was arrested and herded like cattle into a lorry, and driven to an office where she was held overnight and paraded before ogling men,' said one irate mother, a former celebrity who declined to be identified. 'She was photographed and thoroughly humiliated and only released the next day after I called the attorney-general and threatened to sue,' she said. Another angry parent said: 'We want the government to sack these thugs hiding behind Islam.' Political analysts said it was inevitable that Mr Abdullah's moderate brand of Islam would eventually clash with fundamentalists entrenched in a number of government departments. 'It is a signal to the government that the fundamentalist Muslims in society have not been defeated,' said an academic.