PUTRAJAYA, Feb 10 — The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will launch an anti-Valentine’s Day campaign tomorrow in a bid to curb youths from celebrating the occasion next Monday.
The campaign will begin with a talk called “Caution! Valentine’s Day trap” at Jakim’s headquarters in Putrajaya tomorrow night.
Campaign director Saimah Mokhtar told The Malaysian Insider that the campaign aims to remind youths of the danger in celebrating Valentine’s Day, a commercial festival that has its origins in the martyrdom of St Valentine, the Christian patron saint associated with lovers.
“We want the youths to not go, even remember or bother to take part in Valentine’s Day. It is not in the Malay or Muslim culture. It is against the teachings of Islam,” she said.
The Jakim family, social and community division director added that the campaign will remind them of the fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council banning the celebration of Valentine’s Day for Muslims.
The ruling in 2005 said that the celebration has Christianity elements and the “practice is mixed with immoral acts contradictory and forbidden by Islam.”
“Muslims in this country no longer have any respect for the National Fatwa Council and we must remind them of the fatwa,” Saimah said.
She added that Jakim will distribute leaflets in universities on the dangers of Valentine’s Day, and mosques around the country will hold programmes for youths on that day.
Minister for Islamic Affairs Senator Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom also told reporters today that television channels should air programmes that will encourage Muslims to appreciate and respect the teachings of Islam on Valentine’s Day.
However, Jamil did not condemn plans attributed to PAS Youth to have a crackdown on Muslims during the celebration.
“We need to know how they are going to control. We don’t want a situation where there will be crowd problems which will cause the police to intervene,” he said.
PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan has come under fire from the leadership in his own party after he announced that state governments in Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor had directed the local authorities to work closely with the police and Rela to check on immoral activities that day.
He was quoted by the Agence France-Press news agency as saying that in Penang, PAS Youth would work with the state Religious Department to monitor the celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Nasrudin was quoted as saying that the programme was part of an attempt to promote a sin-free lifestyle among the public.
But Nasrudin told party paper Harakah today that the news agency had misunderstood his remarks and the respective state governments have their own authority to conduct their own plans against the celebration.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said Nasrudin had not been authorised to speak on behalf of the state governments, and pointed out that enforcement of Islamic laws were carried out independently by religious departments.
Khalid, who is also a member of the PAS national political bureau, also confirmed that Nasrudin’s remarks were personal views and had not been brought up during the party’s recent political bureau meeting.
DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) chief Loke Siew Fook also rejected the crackdown, saying that PAS Youth’s stand on Valentine’s Day celebration was not shared by other members of Pakatan Rakyat (PR).