Malaysia

Islamic authorities to clamp down on Valentine’s shenanigans

Jamil Khir said it was necessary to prevent wayward Valentine’s celebrations among unmarried couples. — File picJamil Khir said it was necessary to prevent wayward Valentine’s celebrations among unmarried couples. — File picSEREMBAN, Feb 13 — Islamic religious authorities will launch nationwide enforcement efforts to nab Muslims celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow, Bernama Online reported Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom as saying today.

“We are moving simultaneously across the country to enforce regulations,” the minister in charge of Islamic affairs said in the report.

“We fear that the love being celebrated by couples [is] not in the sense of husband and wife. Other than giving advice, we also have to act.”

Last Friday, official sermons also warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine’s Day, which the federal Islamic authorities claimed was in breach of the tenets of their religion.

In the text of a sermon provided by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) titled “Awas jerat Valentine” (Beware Valentine’s trap), Muslims were told that asking someone to be his or her “Valentine” could lead to idolatry.

PAS Youth has also been spearheading anti-Valentine’s Day celebrations in recent years.

It claimed that the celebrations would lead to greater vice among Muslim youths.

This year, the Islamist opposition party’s Youth wing urged the federal government to exert greater control over Valentine’s Day advertisements to curb social ills.

Valentine’s Day celebrations have been a solely commercial affair since 1969, when the Roman Catholic Church dropped February 14 as a feast day.

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