Readers Forum

Issues of the day: Students
say ‘No’ to Valentine’s

Feb. 14, p5

Nearly 500 elementary school students in Surakarta, Central Java, joined a march to the city’s Manahan Stadium on Wednesday in protest against Muslim youth partaking in Valentine’s Day celebrations, arguing that doing so was against Islamic teaching.

Some 30 teachers accompanied the students at the rally in the city, which is also known as Solo. The students ranged from first to sixth graders of Al Fattah Islamic elementary school.

Your comments:

This action amounts to hate speech and stirs up discontent in the community. This action also encourages protests and rallies as the first step toward vigilantism and condones violence against those who have a different system of beliefs.

Worse still is forcing a hateful belief system on innocent and sensitive children. This is child abuse and these teachers must be pulled out of the educational system and prosecuted.


Forget all this nonsense of “not possible” in the clerics’ way of thinking and concentrate on the daily needs of poor people in this country and give your wife a red rose.

Doing this shows respect, love and responsibility.


Isn’t it more logical to teach students, especially at this young age, that love is what makes society human instead of the indoctrinating learning of Islam?

Simultaneously, we must teach them not to confuse love with sex, which is more a task of parents and not of a few old sods who never have been young and in love.

Jorith Arbier

The MUI has instigated hatred toward the non-Muslim community. Out of wedlock intimate relationships are forbidden, not only in Islam, but under Christianity.

Education, ethical, moral teachings are important. This world’s race and religions walls are crumbling everywhere. These MUI followers are retreating into the cave of the Middle Ages.

Lauw Sik Ham

I never cease to be astounded at the narrow education received by people such as Setyatno from Solo, Pekanbaru Mayor Ayat Cahyadi, Pekanbaru Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ilyas Husti.

These extremely conservative people are a very dangerous threat to the intellectual future of Indonesian children, as they obviously intend to shape and distort the minds of these promising and easily influenced youngsters to fit the same constricted mold as theirs.

Ilyas Husti states, with confidence, that “Valentine’s Day celebrations have led to the channeling of lust between unmarried couples”. Ignorant and depraved Muslims like him, who equate love with carnal desire, will most certainly hurt Islam.

What Indonesian children urgently need is good education about what love and sex are all about, as well as excellent moral and ethical examples of behavior from their elders.

So far, these have been woefully lacking in Indonesia.

T. Koestomo

Paper Edition | Page: 8

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