Muslim leaders warn on Valentine's Day
Church counters claim Christianity to blame for day's 'vices'
ucanews.com reporter, Penang & Bangkok
February 11, 2011
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) today issued a statement saying “Christians in Malaysia vehemently deplore and are hurt by public statements made recently which link Valentine’s Day to sin and Christianity.”
Yesterday the youth wing of the Council of Churches Malaysia issued a statement expressing “deep disappointment” with Islamic motivational speaker Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood in her “derogatory and irresponsible remarks that were aired on national television and subsequently circulated on Youtube.”
In a talk show entitled “Valentine’s Day: Forbidden in Islam,” Siti warned Muslim youths not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, February 14.
But the CFM said: “Statements which have a tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility against any particular religious community cannot and should not be tolerated... It is not a Christian festival celebrated by the church today.”
Father Michael Chua, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, explained Valentine's Day's “celebration by the public is very much within the domain of secular (Westernised) culture and has nothing to do with the Christian faith.”
The CFM statement also says “ we do not believe in nor practise the moral policing of individuals and groups in our society. The Church in Malaysia has always advocated that we should educate and teach the beliefs and tenets of our faith .”
Earlier, the youth wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said it will crack down on sinful and immoral activities on Valentine’s Day.
Not all Muslims support this action. Akmal Arrifin, a Muslim musician in his 40s, consider the issue trivial. A crackdown will not look good on “modern” Muslims, he said.
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