Malaysia; PAS wants to stop Valentine’s Day celebration

PETALING JAYA: With Valentine’s Day due in a week, PAS has again pledged to put a stop to the celebration.

Its leaders, including PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan at-Tantawi, said it must be stopped as it would lead to immoral activities.

His deputy Nik Abduh Nik Aziz wants the Government to place anti-Valentine Day’s advertisements on television to discourage Muslims from celebrating the event.

“Every year we join forces with various Muslim non-governmental organisations to create awareness that celebrating Valentine’s Day is against the Islamic syariat,” he said.

“We do not want the celebration to become a trend among Muslims,” he said, adding that ulamas worldwide forbid Muslims from celebrating the day.

“The best way to disseminate the message is through television.

“And the Government can easily do that as it controls the mainstream media,” he added.

Nik Abduh, a son of PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, said the movement had yet to meet to discuss its anti-Valentine’s Day campaign this year.

Nasrudin said the movement was not out to punish those celebrating Valentine’s Day.

“We are also not trying to assume the role of moral police. We are not enforcers.

“But, we want to help save the youngsters from falling into the Valentine’s Day trap that promotes immoral activities,” he said.

Ahead of Valentine’s Day every year, PAS Youth and various Muslim activist groups campaigned against young couples having unlawful sex and distribute leaflets to university students warning them against celebrating the day.

Islamic officials in Malaysia isued 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 celebration ban.

The roots of Valentine’s Day celebrated on Feb 14 go back to ancient times, when people honoured an early Christian martyr named St Valentine.

It is traditionally a day when lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering sweets and chocolates and sending greeting cards. These days, they also use e-mails, Facebook and Twitter.

Many couples become engaged or get married on this day. For others, it is a day to fall in love.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said PAS had no right to impose its values on others.

“This is a democratic multi-racial country. We can’t stop people from celebrating whatever event they wish to celebrate,” he said.

“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 Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to check PAS Youth.

“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.

Source: http://thestar.com.my