SHAFAQNA- A 2011 judgement from the Indonesian Ulema Council declared celebrations of Valentine’s Day are “opposed to Indonesian culture and religious norms.” The organization, which issued another warning last year against the holiday, believes Valentines Day encourages drinking, sex, and using drugs.
Some Malaysian critics see the holiday as an encroachment of Western values, while supporters view it as an innocent excuse to treat one’s loved one. “At the end of the day, all this arguments for or against it is just part of a much larger battle of ideologies to claim the soul of this country,” columnist Emmanuel Joseph wrote on the Malaysian Insider.
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department has been holding a “Mind the Valentine’s Day Trap” event since 2011, sending volunteers to approach young Muslims and remind them of the follies of celebrating the day. Last year, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department issued a sermon on Valentine’s Day, calling the holiday a kind of “colonization of the mind” that gives rise to a “mental disorder caused by alcohol, abortion and baby-dumping.”