The Jakarta Post
Malaysia's National Fatwa Council has issued a ban on Halloween celebrations, saying the tradition is essentially Western and against the teachings of Islam.
The annual celebration is the third to be targeted by Muslim groups, which earlier condemned events like the Oktoberfest beer festival and "Touch A Dog" as insensitive to Islamic values.
"The Halloween celebration is clearly against the values of syariah," the council said in an online post yesterday, referring to Islamic laws and codes.
It further said Halloween was a Christian festival that honoured the dead, and urged Muslims to pray for their deceased instead, Malay Mail Online reported.
"It cannot be celebrated by Muslims. To remember those who have passed away, Islam suggests the practices of reciting doa (prayers) and Quran."
The edict was issued in reaction to a complaint lodged last week by Muslim residents in Negeri Sembilan state capital Seremban against a private international school which invited students, Muslims included, to attend a Halloween bash it was organising, Free Malaysia Today reported.
The invitation had caused a furore among some Muslim groups including the Islamist Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia, which urged the state authorities to monitor the event.
Fatwas are not legally binding in Malaysia unless gazetted by a state as syariah or Islamic law. (***)
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