The Jakarta Post
There is not much love for Valentine's Day this year as the Indonesian Ulema Council ( MUI ) in Dumai, Riau, and the Education, Youth and Sport Agency in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, have warned against celebrating the day of affection.
'An MUI judgment states that celebrating Valentine's Day is against Islam,' head of the Dumai MUI Lukman Syarif told to Antara on Thursday.
According to an MUI judgment released in 2011, Valentine's Day is suspected to imbue the youth with the dark world, wild festivities and lust driven celebrations. The organization's biggest concern is that Feb. 14 brings with it careless drinking, free sex and drug usage, which violate Islamic norms and rules.
Meanwhile, the Mataram Education, Youth and Sport Agency released an appeal prohibiting students from any sort of Valentine's Day celebrations in school.
'We issued schools with a restraining order approaching this year's Valentine's Day,' head of Mataram Education, Youth and Sport Agency H Ruslan Effendy, said on Sunday.
Ruslan explained that the ban aimed to ensure students in Mataram city did not lose touch of their Indonesian traditions and culture and that activities complied with Mataram's vision: 'Thrive forward, be religious and cultural'
In related news, dozens of Muslim activists from Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia ( HTI ), Kediri, East Java, protested against Valentine's Day on Sunday.
'This tradition is not in our religion [Muslim], it's part of a liberal culture,' protest coordinator Syaiful Umar said in Kediri.
The activists said Valentine's Day advocated promiscuity, which lead to free sex. Syaiful mentioned that the issue was particularly relevant as 20 percent of students in Surabaya became pregnant out of wedlock.( bcw )