It’s one thing to advise against it on religious grounds, but this missive comes from Aceh, where the imposition of Sharia has only gotten more intensive, and morality policing is already well off the rails. It is quite another matter when such a prohibition becomes grounds for harassment and intervention by law enforcement of one form or another, as is also frequently the case in Saudi Arabia. “Indonesia/Islam: Aceh Ulema Warns Muslims Against Observing Valentine’s Day,” from the International Islamic News Agency, February 6:
BANDA ACEH (Indonesia),14 Rabi al-Awwal/6 Feb (IINA)-Ulema in Aceh have warned Muslims, the younger generation in particular, that observing Valentine’s Day is not allowed in Islam and against Sharia law that is in force in all of Aceh province.
“It is haram for Muslims to observe Valentine’s Day because it does not accord with Islamic Sharia” Tgk Feisal, general secretary of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), said on Monday.
In Islam, he said, love should not be expressed or shown on a certain day only but every day. “Therefore, Islam’s younger generation should not participate in the celebration of a foreign festivity,” he said.
Faisal Ali who is also chairman of the Aceh branch of Nahdlatul Ulama called on Muslim parents, especially those in Aceh, to instruct and supervise their children in the matter.
“We must prevent the Muslim younger generation in Aceh from being poisoned by a culture that contradicts our Muslim values. Therefore, everybody, parents in particular, should give our youth the proper guidance,” he said.
He also called on the government to uphold and implement Islamic Sharia in “serious and sincere ways and not just out of political expediency or momentarily.”
“Islamic Sharia cannot prevail in Aceh as expected if it is not supported fully by the government and other parties in authority,” he said.
The government must also watch out for youths participating in Valentine’s Day activities in Aceh, he said.