Cairo, Egypt - Malaysia’s main Islamic opposition party has called on Malaysians not to celebrate the Valentine's Day, warning that the event leads to immoral activities, the Malaysia Star reported on Tuesday, February 7.
“Every year we join forces with various Muslim non-governmental organizations to create awareness that celebrating Valentine's Day is against the Islamic Shari`ah,” Nik Abduh Nik Aziz, deputy of the Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), said.
“We do not want the celebration to become a trend among Muslims,” he said, adding that scholars worldwide forbid Muslims from celebrating the day.
Aziz called on the government to place anti-Valentine Day's advertisements on television to discourage Muslims from celebrating the event.
“The best way to disseminate the message is through television,” he said.
Valentine's Day: Roots & Islamic View
“And the Government can easily do that as it controls the mainstream media."
Along with the television campaign, the party was due to meet to discuss its anti-Valentine's Day campaign this year, Nik Abduh, a son of PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, said.
Islamic officials in Malaysia issued a fatwa in 2005 that the day is associated with “elements of Christianity”.
Last year, religious authorities arrested more than 100 Muslim couples over the Valentine's Day celebrations.
Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives.
However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day.
Hence, commemorating the Valentine’s Day is an innovation or bid`ah (innovation) that has no religious backing.
But the PAS's call drew flaks from Malaysian political parties.
“This is a democratic multi-racial country. We can't stop people from celebrating whatever event they wish to celebrate,” Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) Youth chief Dr Wee Ka Siong told the Malaysia Star.
“Commercially driven events depend on supply and demand, PAS Youth should not interfere,” Wee said, adding that Chap Goh Mei was the Chinese version of Valentine's Day.
Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang challenged opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to oppose PAS's view on the Valentine's.
“Anwar should take action if he wants to show Pakatan Rakyat embraces moderation,” he said, adding that the coalition should take action against PAS Youth.
“It is not an issue with Muslims, but PAS Youth never fails to make an issue out of it,” he said.
However, PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan at-Tantawi reiterated thta the party would never interfere or punish those celebrating the occasion.
“We are also not trying to assume the role of moral police. We are not enforcers,” Nasrudin said.
“But, we want to help save the youngsters from falling into the Valentine's Day trap that promotes immoral activities,” he said.
With about a million members, PAS is the largest opposition party in Malaysia.
The party enjoys strong support from the northern rural and conservative states such as Kelantan and Terengganu.