KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Both the city Islamic Department (Jawi) and Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) have banned Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day, calling it a Christian tradition in a Friday sermon delivered in mosques today.
Valentine’s Day falls on February 14, next Monday, and generates revenue for restaurants, hotels and retail businesses.
“It is celebrated in many ways, starting with greeting cards, flowers and dance parties. In fact some celebrate it with a date which would eventually lead to illicit sex,” said the sermon prepared by the Selangor’s Islamic authority.
“Clearly the celebration is not part of Islamic teaching, it violates the syariah and contradicts the universal code of ethics,” it added.
Citing the Catholic Encyclopaedia, the sermon claimed Valentine’s Day is celebrated to honour a Christian priest who was imprisoned in Rome for his belief and remembered for his love letters addressed to the daughter of prison official.
“Clearly the celebration of Valentine’s Day is related to the incident, so as a Muslim who believes in Allah and accepts Muhammad as the messenger, is it appropriate for us to celebrate Valentine’s Day?” said the sermon.
Jais pointed out that there were 257,411 births out of wedlock between 2000 and 2008, and blamed Valentine’s Day celebrations as one of the causes.
“Therefore every Muslim, especially teenagers, must abandon the tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day, which was meant to corrupt the Musim community,” it said.
“Remember that the Jews and Christians would continue to deceive Muslims. They will do everything undermine the Muslims’ belief and personality,” said the sermon.
Jais also called on the media and social networking sites not to promote Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day, an annual commemoration of love and romance, and is celebrated the world over on February 14, but a 2005 religious ruling by the National Fatwa Council said the celebration has Christian elements and the “practice is mixed with immoral acts contradictory and forbidden by Islam.”
The federal Islamic Development Department (Jakim) announced yesterday it would start its own anti-Valentine’s Day campaign to remind Muslim youths of the danger of the celebration.
PAS Youth has also planned similar campaign after backtracking on its earlier declaration to launch a crackdown on Muslims celebrating Valentine’s in Pakatan Rakyat states.
Malaysia will celebrate the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on February 15 with a public holiday. Some conservatives are concerned young Muslims might be involved in immoral activities ahead of the religious occasion.