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Friday February 14, 2014
12:47 PM GMT+8

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Tourists Tom and Kate taking their portrait at Love Lane, Penang for their valentine memory during their visit to here, February 14, 2014. Jakim has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements.— Picture by K.E. OoiTourists Tom and Kate taking their portrait at Love Lane, Penang for their valentine memory during their visit to here, February 14, 2014. Jakim has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements.— Picture by K.E. OoiKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Malaysia’s religious authority warned Muslims nationwide against celebrating Valentine’s Day today, which it said will push Muslims away from Islam and towards a certain disaster.

In its official Friday sermon available online, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) also blamed the celebration of love for causing social ills such as fraud, abortion, baby dumping and alcohol consumption.

“On this sacred and blessed day, we are in the mosque to hear a sermon and praise Allah’s might, but out there some Muslim youths might be involved in social ceremonies such as Valentine’s Day, that is celebrated by lovers,” according to the sermon available on its website.

“Social ceremonies such as this are a stepping stone towards greater social ills such as fraud, mental disorder caused by alcohol, abortion and baby dumping, and other negative ills that can invite disaster and moral decay among youths” it added.

In the sermon titled “Solid faith, excellent community”, Jakim warned Muslims against what it called “colonisation of the mind”, which led Muslims to ape Western culture, such as Valentine’s Day.

It claimed that the celebration weakens the Muslim identity especially among the young, and threatens the future of the Muslim community as a whole.

“Have hatred and disgust towards activities which are against our faith, code, and the human civilisation,” said the sermon.

“Prevent yourselves from things which are prohibited such as free mingling between men and women, intoxicating drinks, and holding extreme social events where everything pushes Muslims away from the real teachings of Islam.”

Jakim has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements.

The global celebration was banned during the 71st meeting of the National Fatwa Council Committee for Islamic Affairs in 2005.

An anti-Valentine’s campaign called “Mind the Valentine’s Day Trap” has also been held by Jakim since 2011, where volunteers approach youths to warn them of the celebration’s alleged danger.

In addition, previous sermons had accused the day of originally for worshipping ancient Roman deities, or celebrating the fall of Muslim rule in Cordoba, Andalusia, now in modern-day Spain.

Islamic enforcement agencies also regularly hold raids on budget hotels and public parks, detaining and charging unmarried Muslim couples for khalwat, or being in close proximity with opposite sex.

Originally a celebration of a Christian saint, Valentine’s Day has long taken a commercial nuance to celebrate romantic love and is vastly popular in East Asia.

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